With a rather simple though poignant Powerpoint, Michael Song, CEO of Sky-Mobi, began a light-hearted presentation this afternoon on the topic of being “open” as a mobile development company.
Beginning with a set of examples explaining his meaning, Mr. Song pointed to Apple, Google and Facebook as models of this type of “openness.” His analysis of the market and corporate behavior revealed his unique understanding of how to create value.
For instance, he contended that only once Apple had begun to move towards more open platforms such as smartphones did the company begin to gain a much larger following. Equally, without Google’s free and open strategy towards hardware companies and Facebook’s open API system, their potential for success would have diminished rather quickly. This type of openness to sharing and developing free platforms, according to Mr. Song, was behind these company’s remarkable progress.
What about China?
Though he had more to say about American companies, Mr. Song took the opportunity to describe some achievements he perceived in the market and some important steps forward for China specifically. He pointed out that China Mobile had already opened up its fee rating systems, and that Mediatek, the Chinese Taipei-based semiconductor manufacturer, already offered a highly successful and highly “open” platform. Therefore, in the same vein, Sky-Mobi intended to provide a universal and open app store worldwide, he said.
So what were his plans for this expansion? Surprisingly, Mr. Song said that his company would have to “come back to 0.” In essence, he thought that a company’s focus would be best revealed only once the idea of payment was taken out of the picture.
If you can think of what you want to do without being paid, he said, then you have pinpointed your dream. Only after this is settled can a company decide how to create value.