Tag Archives for Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, the rapid pace and the hyper dense population can mean a wonderland of split testing and data analysis for mobile apps developers.
Ranee Chung, CEO of Mercury Media, is a former advertising executive who was born in Hong Kong and has worked in the United States for years. She has returned from a stint in the United States to launch Mercury Media. She talks about how apps are the new advertising — instead of straight from the brand messaging, apps enable brands to build a culture and community around the app and the brand.
She and her partner Julien Hauss sat with me at a local Starbucks in Central, Hong Kong to talk about the launch of their new app, OpenBar.
You can listen to the radio show here.
We are back from traveling and it’s time for another Re-Wired Radio show. This time, we visit with Napoleon Biggs, Founder & Host of Web Wednesdays, a forum for mobile apps developers in Hong Kong started about four years ago.
Biggs takes us through some history and shows us how apps development, mobile phone usage and investments in the social web space and e-commerce has changed in China and Asia in general.
Biggs wears two hats. While running Web Wednesdays, he is Senior Vice President & Head of Digital Integration at Fleishman Hillard, the international communications conglomerate.
Based in Hong Kong, Biggs has seen and experienced mobile, digital and media, in general, in almost every country in Asia. He is a great person to talk to about how people consume digital in Asia.
If you are curious about what it takes to get investment in your mobile web startup in Hong Kong, listen to the show.
I met up with Mercury Media CEO Ranee Chung and her partner Julien Hauss on Thursday to talk about the launch of their new app, OpenBar. It’s Hong Kong’s first mobile web app for bars.
You can watch the full interview here, first, or read through this blog post and watch the full interview at the end.
Here is a video of their app, courtesy of www.openbar.hk:
To cut through the clutter of a super dense thicket of bars and restaurants, OpenBar allows bar owners to broadcast happy hour specials and details about the current social environment to app users, hoping to draw them into the crowd.
Like Tokyo, Hong Kong is filled with thousands of hidden bars, restaurants and supper clubs that don’t get a lot of surface attention from flyers or magazine ads. They subsist through word-of-mouth and high levels of late night traffic, often because they are super close to other equally hidden bars.
OpenBar offers a combo of photo-sharing, advertising and couponing to lure the drunk and searching hordes to smaller and less obvious bars. It socializes the experience and makes it easy for people to attract their friends and find others in the spaces.
Chung and Hauss have devised the app to help bar owners attract an instantaneous crowd, and by the looks of it, they might be on to something. Here’s a quick video interview I did with them about the origin of the app.
We also talk about what makes Hong Kong unique in the web apps and social mobile web space.
It’s not often that I have a face-to-face encounter with a disruptive technology that actually disrupts my life in a good way and pushes me to the envelope of innovation and progress. But I have had that experience with Airbnb.
It’s changed my life. I am not the only one.
Right now, in New York City, two young women, age 24 and 27, are staying at my apartment, renting it for the month, while they find an apartment somewhere in Manhattan. I am sitting at a worktable in a huge, cavernous warehouse flat in Brooklyn, on a street I never even knew existed in this borough, while I wait the next 16 hours for my flight to Hong Kong.
[edited] I am now in Hong Kong, about to move from my friend’s flat to the apartment down the street, which I rented online one month ago.
In the last part of 2011 and in 2012 I plan on visiting: Senegal, Morocco, Barcelona, Hong Kong, China, Sweden, Chile, Argentina, and Iceland.
This year alone I have been to Costa Rica, Fiji, New Zealand, Mexico, and Seattle.
And I do not have a full time job at a corporate headquarters.
I am an intelligence agent for the social web. Or, I am a professional networker. Social networks online mean nothing unless you actually meet the people who follow or friend you. That’s what makes them social.
So, to get the job of meaning creation done, I travel around the world building up the social media cache that we use at Re-Wired Group by meeting people face to face and interviewing them. We tell their stories, and find ways to inform the public about how entrepreneurs are finding ways into the jobs to be done framework.
Listen to our two most recent radio shows: An interview with Raphael Ouzan about the social layer of billing statements; and a twenty minute interview with Ringbow co-founder Saar Shai and his girlfirend, the lovely Alicia Zur Szpiro, as they talk about the disruption of global corporate infrastructure brought on by the massive data coming-of-age.
Airbnb has made all of this travel and work possible, simply because it has introduced me to people I never would have met at a bar, at a church or standing in line for a concert.
I am ready to proclaim that 2012 will be the Tipping Point year in a technological revolution that will unsettle lives and create new lifestyles and career choices for millions of people. It’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the apps.
Airbnb allows me to collect rent on my place while other people use it to discover the city. I can then use that money towards travel, where I visit other countries and develop new businesses, create new networks of social media influence, and create meaningful value in work for my clients, globally. I’m like a one-man global media company.
This is an example of a job that a company like Airbnb allows one to accomplish to experience progress. It’s another example of what I have written about in the past: that business is no longer about the mechanics of business, it’s about being social and helping people find meaningful progress in their emotional lives.
As Chris Spiek says about the advances brought on by Airbnb:
This is a great example of an innovation unlocking what is possible in terms of making progress. Most people that have had the same aspirations (job) as you, wouldn’t think of accomplishing it by renting out their place.
They would not, I think, because their emotional energy is tied up in ego management. Their ego is so connected to the stability of a choice that was really not theirs to make. To consider doing what I have planned and executed on would require al etting go of the meaning that was really not theirs to begin with.
With Airbnb, I — and millions of others — have fond meaning in purchasing what on the surface is just a service. But it gets so supercharged because by hiring this company we are achieving the creation of meaning that we created, that we can own.
And in my experience, that makes me a loyal customer and consumer of Airbnb. It’s not that I am satisfied with the service. I am satisfied with myself.
Companies need to get this. companies that don’t get this will end up like Blockbuster video, or GM, or any of the thousands of companies every year that fail.
It didn’t use to be this way, but it is this way now, because of this magical data-linking, people channel called the Internet.
If you can help someone make a meaningful choice in their life, then they will do more than buy your product. They will be loyal, to the bone. And tell their friends about it.
Shell Martinez started using Airbnb last year, and she and her roomate are now thinking of buying their own place to create a kind of international hostel for the hundreds of people who have stayed with her and would stay with her again.
I wrote about her a little bit on my travel blog, For All the Dogs in Mexico.
In short, Shell and Rita have both decided that there are things they can do now that they had only thought about before.
They can start a business, help Airbnb, travel around the world, host parties, and even put together new friendships and relationships based on common interests.
Shell even built a sixteen foot table out of wood and industrial steel pipes. Airbnb’s customer service reps come here on Fridays and set up shop.
It’s an example of a home turning into a business, and within that business the creation of a social layer around getting work done. This never could have happened twenty, or even five years ago.