ITNorthWest Voice

This is a blog for all the technology entrepreneurs based in the North West of Ireland - musings about our business, companies, interests, trends and any other random thing that hits us.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Tablane -- Towards a market?

We released the 3rd Beta of our browser Tablane on Friday. This one has come on quite a long way since 28th October. It's robust and almost ready for a full release. We're tweaking how we organise and e-mail Collections, and then we'll be ready in the New Year. Some eagle eyes spotted that I had changed our AdWord text on Google to 'No, not like Flock'. This cheeky experiment, especially given that we were appearing every time someone searched for Flock, produced a noticeable spike in traffic, eliciting about 50 extra downloads. We changed this after 24 hours because we are trying lots of different approaches to see what works. We are now experimenting with making a virtue of the browser being built upon the Internet Explorer engine. On this note, the dispute between those who wear OpenSource sandals and the high priests of Microsoft, has always smelled a lot like sectarianism and as such is best avoided. We've gone for an IE base to our innovation initially because IE has the overwhelming majority of the PC market. The problem with this though is that IE users are overwhelmingly not people who get excited by the extensibility of the Mozilla or the security issues posed by ActiveX. They are busy people with only a passing interest in technology. They use the Internet to buy stuff, help the kids with their home work and send e-mails. If we are to connect with them, viral marketing via the Internet isn't going to make Tablane famous in a hurry. And would they pay for a browser, even as cool as ours, anyway? Maybe, but let's not smoke our own. So, by the end of January, we will release a commercial version of the browser for public download. We won't book that villa in Mustique right away though. We think a more demonstrable market lies within the Enterprise. This goes against current consumer oriented thinking, but hey. We don't think it's a browser story alone anyway, but has lot to do with simply, cheaply and securely pooling research data within groups. We think there's a similar market in Publishing where, for example in the Educational sector, informational books are released with lists of URLs that need to be kept up-to-date. On the other hand, the browser works really, really well on widescreen laptops. Could we do a distribution deal with a manufacturer? What pain would that take to achieve? In other words, we will still need old-fashioned channels to market. So we need more depth to our product. We need to be able to articulate clearly what problems we are fixing and get our pricing right. Time to build a demo of the server environment our browser begs to talk to. Think RSS plus client synchronization rules from a technical starting point...

1 Comments:

Anonymous keith bohanna said...

Enjoyed that post Julian - great to watch your thinking evolve and to read your comments on your positioning and route to market. A

And even what that market is.

Thanks for sharing!

keith

11/15/2005 09:31:00 AM  

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