R „Ray“ Wang in a digital conversation with Oliver Gassner about insurance apps, the importance of Venture Capitals for Startups and the opportunity to turn a spot at the CeBIT into a social media campaign.
Oliver Gassner: Hi, would you please introduce yourself and elaborate on the work you do?
Ray Wang: Hello, I’m R “Ray’ Wang, Principal Analyst and CEO of Constellation. We are a research analyst firm at the intersection of business strategy and disruptive technology.
OG: What was the most disruptive app or service you saw on mobiles or in the mobile web in the last 12 months?
RW: Groupama France’s insurance app. You got real-time status on how quickly an agent would respond to your request at the point of an accident. You could also begin the claims filing on your mobile device.
OG: If you were part of the jury of code_n what would you look for in a startup?
RW: Commercialization strategy, innovation culture, network of advisors, sales plan.
OG: What do startups need? Assuming they have a team and an alpha.
Connections? Money? Advice?
RW: Startups need connections via their VC’s to introduce them to prospects, media, press.
OG: The award for winning “code_n” is a spot at the CeBIT in a special code_n area with other winning code_n contestants. How could a startup best make use of this opportunity?
RW: Turn it into a social media campaign that shows how real-time and easy their product could be to use. For example, take live scenarios from the audience.
OG: Is it likely that we will soon see another “Facebook”?
RW: With Facebook slowly trying to convince users that their convenience is worth giving up privacy, at some point a backlash will occur. At that point, we’ll get to an open source version of Facebook where the users own their data and the companies have to request permission to use their data.
OG: Will any company on the web ever again gain this number of users inside a walled garden?
RW: Yes. Each new innovation generates this opportunity.
OG: We saw Hotbot go, AltaVista, Yahoo, Myspace. Will we see Google and Facebook go? What will have to happen for this to happen?
RW: Google will continue to exist. The question is, are we ready to stand up to Facebook.
OG: Would you dare to make a prediction? What will be the next “hot thing” on the web?
RW: The next hot thing will be at the intersection of mobile devices and personal healthcare.