When you run software companies in the US, you divide companies into the US and Rest Of World (ROW). Trutap focused on the RROW (Rest of the Rest of the World).
Last year, a load of new users got their first mobile: 7m new people per month in India (that's one Finland per month). 130m new mobile subscribers worldwide last year.
Many of them think they're middle class: they have a purchasing power equated aspirationally to this. We're under the misimpression that the market is either a small wealthy market, or a huge number of third-world users.
It's not all farmers sharing crop prices.
So this is 500m+, disproportionately young consumers. They have fundamentally different quality of life in Mumbai to LA. Luke @ Trutap spent lots of time in India early this year, including dozens of interviews of current, prospective and failed Trutap users. They have the same needs as western kids have today with their iPhone or PC.
In the West, the PC is private; in Mumbai it's public - and data is more expensive in internet cafes than it is via mobile. Expressing yourself via the net becomes harder in these conditions.
In LA, internet usage is primarily PC. In Mumbai, it's mobile.
Needs and aspirations are the same between the two. I believe social networks are a temporary phenomenon on the PC: they belong on the phones. We want to keep up with friends and associates constantly, to meet others: this nirvana is in the offing. Nokia talk about the super-address book, but it's all the same thing. The new emerging middle classes are as large numerically as the whole of Facebook today: so social software isn't done and dusted, it's not all done yet.
Western operators will make conservative choices and adopt a defensive position - Indian operators will be more inclined to do risky stuff as they grow. All these things that people understand the mobile industry has to get over? They'll get over them first in India.
The iPhone is having a disproportionate impact on the world: in emerging markets it's practically non-existent. But it shows what the future should be.
This will happen where there is capital, opportunity, and a large emerging middle class.
Trutap was a support of a web existence. We support all the worlds IM transports. Dating sites arose on the web independent of social networking; in Japan the two never split.
... shows off Trutap ...
We have an odd and unique time coming - the IT industry has been driven by the US, whilst mobile was driven from Europe. But we need to be sensitive to the fact that much innovation will come from emerging markets.