Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Motion & Mobility: Smartphones Are Transforming Relationships In India

Mobile communication is the most important technological innovation in the history of our planet. Mobile phone users grew from zero to six billion in 25 years, the most rapidly adopted technology ever. The resulting mobile app platform today is transforming economies, education, language, health care, music, safety, privacy and the quality of life for the elderly, and those with disabilities around the world.
Smartphone use in India, for example, is quickly becoming the dominant way for the country’s 900 million mobile phone users to stay connected. The app economy is helping farmers increase their crop yields and profits, and urban Indians are using their smartphones to order food, watch cricket, and do online banking. Much like their American counterparts, the dramatic growth for mobile technology in India is driven by a desire among Indians to stay in on it, and have instant access to social networking sites.
According to the IMF, India’s economy is growing faster than China in 2015 due to policy reforms brought in by the one-year-old Modi government. The Indian prime minister’s multi-purpose approach includes a strategy for long-term investment in infrastructure and technology. Additionally, the Indian government is stimulating the economy by focusing on key areas rather than simply cutting taxes for industry. The government’s budget and policy reforms are enabling businesses, investors, and consumers to have greater confidence for a sustainable future.
Making haste with the mobile platform, Smartphones in India are increasingly becoming commonplace. The lowering cost of data plans is encouraging people to trade in their traditional phones for new smartphones with higher app functionality. For companies hoping to monetize on the India market, it will be important to recognize the culture’s unique attributes. Indian society is more open and communal than the West, this leads to an increased importance of constantly staying in touch.
Indian culture has a long tradition allowing people to infringe on what would be considered one's personal space. This is why smartphone use in certain situations, is tolerated. For example, it’s accepted for people to take calls at highly official functions, such as business meetings. People are also taking calls inside movie theaters. People don't know if the call is important so they take the call. Another quirky fact about India is that the caller may get to hear a Bollywood song, chosen by the subscriber instead of a ring tone. Known as caller tunes, the subscriber is charged for this monthly and these tunes are big money makers and sources of entertainment.
The smartphone is quickly becoming the dominant way of communication between India’s 1.3 billion citizens to always-be-connected. What makes the India story uncommon is the diversity within the market. There is adequate demand potential both at the top and bottom of the market. The aspirational Indian consumer is willing to pay a premium for the top brands that have the best to offer, and at the same time there is enough volume at the bottom thanks to the value-conscious customer. 
India is the perfect example of a world where a company and its customers are connected 24/7. India is a vibrant place where the customer relationship, the value proposition and the business model of every app and company are in the process of being transformed. The winners will likely be determined by who innovates most effectively in this always-connected world.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Celebrating The American Spirit: San Jose Giants And Cheetah Mobile Honor The Sacred Game Of Baseball

Baseball is a movable conversation across nine innings. It is eye contact with the person seated next to you in a ballpark where the pitcher is separated from the batter by 60 feet and pitching 90 mph fastballs. At the ballpark coaches look for magicians, fans want a show, and players give all to get it done. Baseball is a game that shouts, “slow down the passage of time,” to America. Just for a few hours fans stop tweeting, texting, and obsessing about apps on our phones and have a genuine good time. On Friday’s game between the San Jose Giants and the Stockton Ports, over 3,000 baseball fans filled the Municipal stadium. The place radiated intimacy and community both in the stands and surrounding the ballpark itself.
As beautiful fans flocked into the ballpark, they received a pair of thunder-sticks courtesy of Clean Master. Fans took photos with larger-than-life Chip, the Cheetah Mobile mascot and uploaded them to social networking sites. The mid-summer game marks the first major collaboration between San Jose Giants and Cheetah Mobile to celebrate the American spirit.
Cheetah Mobile also invited numerous Make-A-Wish families to bring children to the game. “We believe giving these kids this experience can be a game-changer,” said Josh Ong, Director of Communications for Cheetah Mobile, “this inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of kids in our community that we care about.” The families spent time with athletes from both teams prior to the game and received a gift bag from the San Jose Giants Dugout store.
The game began quickly with a fastball from Josh Ong. Both the SJ Giants and the Stockton Ports played with all their heart. At the bottom of the second, the drop of the bat said so much. BOOM!  Tyler Horan seemed to be saying as he let go of his lumber in the batter’s box with a two run homer. Horan’s team-leading 9th of the season gave the SJ Giants a 2-0 lead with both Angel Villalona and Horan returning to home plate. Take that, star-crossed year of injuries and setbacks.
The SJ Giants then pushed their advantage to 3-0 when Jeff Kobermus began the bottom of the third with a solo home run, his first of the season – down the left field. What happened next was remarkable for many reasons. The SJ Giants believed in themselves to stay completely focused for the rest of the game. The pitching stayed strong with Martin Agosta working around a pair of two-out singles that left runners on the corners. You would think this was a storybook game for the home team.
Watching the game, there were many unforgettable moments emblazoned in the SJ Giants fans’ minds. This included the “Run like a cheetah” promotion in the middle of the 5th with Gigante, the SJ Giants mascot being chased by kids around the field. There were also many happy moments with the life-size Chip being smothered with children and fans on the sidelines.
When play resumed, the SJ Giants worked on all phases of the game, including the mental: knowing the defense, reading the batsmen, getting signs, and understanding situations on the field to fully shut down the Ports. The fielding remained tight and the opening pitcher was relieved by Ian Gardeck to begin the top of the seventh. Gardeck issued a two-out walk to Matt Chapman, but came back to strikeout Branden Cogswell to retire the side.
When it was all over, the crowd cheered loudly to celebrate the win. The team had come together to prevent a scoreless inning from the Ports. Christian Arroyo who singled and tripled, was the only Giants player to finish the game with more than one hit. SJ Giants out hit Stockton Ports by a 6-5 margin for a decisive victory. Winning is a spine chilling, tears welling, I can’t believe it feeling. Then you hug, celebrate, and look in each other’s eyes. “We are one. Together, we’re San Jose Giants,” said Arroyo to the fans.
As the players left the field, fans were treated to a spectacular display of fireworks courtesy of Clean Master and Cheetah Mobile. The multi-colored fireworks lighted up the San Jose night sky. Fans remained transfixed in their seats, moved by the metaphysical pyrotechnics. “Thank you Clean Master,” came on the announcer, “what a nice thing to give to the fans.” A loud cheer went through the Municipal stadium.
Baseball is the perfect antidote to one of the particular cultural obsessions of our digital age: time. We are all too busy, time crunched by the demands of life that we need to stop and take a break and watch a baseball game. One hundred years from now, players of the game will learn from the legends that came up from the minor leagues. Names like: Tyler Horan, Martin Agosta and Christian Arroyo. Baseball will always have an element of probability and chance that we can’t control, but putting the odds in your favor on a consistent basis is the responsibility of every player on the team. Whether you enjoy baseball on an intellectual level or an emotional level or both, watching the game will further our understanding of the American spirit.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Extinction Must Be Reversed: Take Action To Protect One Of The Most Important Species On The Planet

Saving the cheetah is at the very heart of what we believe in at Cheetah Mobile. One hundred years ago, the wild cheetah population was 100,000. Today, it’s less than 10,000. We have made it part of our mission to find solutions to this problem. We have recently joined hands with the Cheetah Conservation Fund to make a difference for the cheetah in reversing its course towards extinction.
Winning the race against extinction isn’t easy. We feel it is our corporate and social responsibility to work with Dr. Laurie Marker – the founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia – to use scientific research and community action to reduce the threats to the cheetah and its entire ecosystem. The agenda for our focus is to foster a simplified, persistent top-level awareness to a cause that focuses on the relationships between the cheetah, governments, habitats and people.  
Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is most associated with the protection of this iconic big cat. CCF is doing a lot to ensure the long-term survival wild cheetah population, but its programs extend well beyond the animal itself. The CCF studies the genetics and relatedness of the population, the incidence of disease, stress hormone levels, and the reproductive health, and it is also in collaboration with Namibian farmers to better understand traditional farming techniques, shift perceptions and improve livelihoods.
One of the main threats to cheetah survival is loss of its natural habitat. To combat this problem, CCF has earned a lot of praise for its habitat restoration program that is ecologically and economically viable, supports the protection of all wildlife and enhances the livelihood of rural residents in the ecosystem. However, CCF can’t do all this hard work alone. They are looking to increase awareness for this critical cause. They are also looking for partners to join the mission and to raise donations to help restore cheetah habitat. We need your help to get the word out and to save the cheetah.
Protecting the world’s fastest animal is part of our mission at Cheetah Mobile. We are a company that has been greatly inspired by the cheetah. We are trying to do our part to raise awareness. From July to September, we are sponsoring a video billboard in Times Square, New York to broadcast the message to people of the world. We need your help to raise awareness and your help to drive funding for that mission.
Your help is also needed to share the lives and stories of the world’s fastest animal through your social networks. We want to enable our communities around the world to participate in cheetah conservation and to get closer to CCF’s work, and the animals we are helping to protect.  

Make a difference. Together we can give help to save the cheetah and their habitat. Learn more at Cheetah.org/savethecheetah

Monday, July 13, 2015

Statement Maker: Instant Messaging Democratizes Thinking On Your Phone

The smartphone is gradually morphing into what was once the television remote or the toaster, everyone in the world has to have one. When we send instant messages using emoticons, pictures, videos and graphic design files we are helping to shape modern language.

The obvious appeal of instant messaging is its speed. 
Back when most computing was done on a desktop, people used to complain about how much pressure they felt to quickly respond to an e-mail. In those days, it was understood that you might have walked away from your desk. Today, there is no socially acceptable excuse for being without your smartphone. If you receive an instant message now, you are obliged instantaneously to reply to it – to confirm you are not one of those people who can be without a smartphone.

The instant messaging functionality of smartphone apps has reached a new frenzy. Companies such as Apple’s iMessage, Skype, Live and WeChat and WhatsApp are evolving to become the rumor mills of choice among people around the globe and for social-media users. Messaging is now superseding other platforms in trustworthiness and challenging them in popularity. We trust information on messaging platforms because information comes from family and friends and not strangers.

Our smartphones may shape our consciousness, but it is our consciousness that makes us credible as productive humans. For the moment, instant messaging is here to stay, but it is ultimately an interim technology. Once the capacity of our smartphones increases to even better mobile messaging platforms, we are likely to see more pictograms, musical messages and videos. Till then we can enjoy these apps on our phones to express a wider range of emotions to enhance our instant communications with family, friends and co-workers. 

Once upon a time, people used to worry about what new technologies would do to our minds. People used to worry about shorter attention spans, how we would forget to read, and not have any meaningful time for personal relationships because of technology. But today, we live in the time of the available self. Our smartphones, apps and instant messages are the right measure for uniqueness in our lives. Only our personal taste decides which character trait we wish to emphasize in 
our messages.