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Monday, May 04, 2009

Reconnecting again!

Hello all

I've been away for the past 3 weeks in India, participating in a cross-country charity drive in a 3-wheel autorickshaw. 

It's been an absolutely fantastic experience & adventure, made even better by the fact that I didn't make or receive a single phone call during that time. My "mobile" experience was a few SMS's exchanged with other the teams participating, plus a couple to my family. I went online at Internet cafes every 3 days or so to do "triage" on the most critical emails, and more importantly update the Rickshaw Run blogs & Facebook pages.

For anyone who never goes "off grid" for more than 15 minutes unless they're on a plane, I'd heartily recommend it. Next time you go on holiday, leave the phone at home.

Anyway - I'm now trying to get back to normal existence again, so one of the first things is to kickstart this blog back to life. There's been quite a lot going on while I've been away - Sun/Oracle, continued economic fallout in the mobile industry, debates about spectrum policy and so on. I'll try and catch up on the key themes.

Also, I'll be in Nice this week at the Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm, at which I'm moderating a panel session on devices. 

I'll thank all the sponsors & other supporters of my India trip in a separate post, as well as giving a flavour of stuff I saw while I was away. But one question to leave you with - how much would you charge to have an entire wall of your house painted with a mobile operator's colours and logo?


vinnie said...

welcome back...the hobby series awaits. We turned 50 last week (see URL) and are up to 54 today...your challenge is to join the first 60 :)


Anirvan said...


Sounds like a fantastic trip. That is a very intersting question that you throw in at the end of your post and I can certainly recall seeing lots of 'branded' houses while travelling (and growing up) in India.

To re-frame your question somewhat, I would ask not how much would I charge to let an operator brand my house with signage - but at what % of my annual income (or perhaps of the value of the house) would the 'sell-out' become worth it? The supply side question would be at what cost per house would the CPI be no longer worth it.

In rural India, where annual income per capita / real estate prices are very low, it is easy for the demand and supply vectors to converge - I would suspect that the cost of the permission per house would be lower than $100 although this would obviously vary with proximity to urban centres (the more rural, the cheaper)

Also while branded houses may appear novel, I would suspect the percentage of annual income at which people agree to sell-out may be broadly consistent across countries and cultures. While it is difficult to imagine 'branded' houses in London, I suspect that if somebody were to offer 10-20% of the value of your house to carry an ad for 6 months, a lot of people may find that interesting (ignoring planning restrictions and all that). Of course given average property prices, even 10% of the price of the property would be too high for the CPIs to make sense, so we don't see this happening in real life.

My two cents

David said...

Great to hear you're back. I was trying to follow your escapades on disruptiverickshaw blog, but that didn't seem to get updated much.

Two questions about how much to charge for branding your house:

1) Is this restricted to outdoor walls? A roof on the Heathrow flightpath might also be attractive to some.

2) Given that one US citizen took $15,000 to tattoo her forehead with a corporate brand logo, I guess the going price would be much less.