We held our quarterly CEO dinner on Tuesday night in Menlo Park, CA. This quarter’s dinner was focused on mobile commerce + mobile payments. Terrific group of companies/CEOs in attendance (see below). A few takeaways:
1) Belief that NFC is going to “be for real” in 2011, with notes of caution. “Embedded in phones doesn’t mean widespread user adoption.” “Will take time for users and retailers to embrace.” “Most likely will see things other than payment as first wave of feature adoption for NFC – think of what Bump does for communication/collaboration.” This last point was reinforced this week with Google’s rollout of NFC-enabled Places check-in kits.
2) Widespread discussion of how to create value for consumers and retailers. This crew gets it, IMHO. “Taking pain out of the transaction for retailers and credit card companies does nothing for consumers.” “Winners will focus on how to create new transaction value for retailers and ease of use functions for consumers.” Think – in-store advertisements, offers, prioritized payment options, etc.
3) Our straw poll of “hot company, not your own” revealed a number of really cool companies in the mobile space. After several years of hope, it feels like we may start to see some scalable businesses built in the mobile business (by startups). My bet’s on one or more of the companies at our dinner!
4) Like it or not, the “elephants” of the industry will play a key role – banks, carriers, Visa, Mastercard, etc.
Companies attending the GGV Dinner included: