Monday, November 25, 2013

Alaska, Undiscovered Country

There's been a note of surprise in the money news of late about Alaska. 

It's become a bit of a surprise that the most sparsely populated state in the US has suddenly become the hottest opportunity for corporate growth.  Alaska is a place where consumers have been largely ignored and fully under served...  yet suddenly logistics technology caught up with economists.  The change in tide has come about so suddenly that there's actually a race to get established there before the market gets saturated by competition.  (For Example)

What's a tech blogger doing, pointing out an economics topic?  Well... here's where the post turns into a geek post...  :)

I can't help but notice a parallel between the Alaskan boom and the Windows Phone boom that's also under way.  Corporations in saturated markets (IOS and Android) meet the growing, underserved market, and the realization that both past investments and new technologies can be leveraged...  and suddenly there's a whole new customer base waiting to be conquered in terms of apps and customer attention and loyalty in the company's native space.

Unlike Alaska, the Windows Phone market is global.  It'll likely literally take something earth shattering to make Alaska a bigger part of the US market than one of fifty states.  Windows Phone Store is already serving over 100 markets world wide.

Unlike Alaska, the Windows Phone market growth opportunity is virtually unlimited.  A company that conquers an Alaskan market will see growth, but it will not likely ever exceed the established markets in the lower 48.   In the Windows Phone market, a company could make it's big break there in the relative scarcity of competition, and even as the Windows Phone platform market share grows, could end up seismically shifting the landscape in their market.

Unlike Alaska, there's no logistics challenge.  Many companies already have all the elements required to make the jump to Windows Phone...  the talent pool, the code base, the infrastructure, very likely existing network services and even binaries.

Microsoft and Nokia have already taken the Windows Phone platform to the many Alaska's of the world, and the platform's already beating out the likes of both IOS and Android in many of them.   The US market is critical, but Microsoft (and Nokia) know that these the Alaska's they're winning in will eventually unite, and overwhelm from the edges as the incumbent platforms fade past their maturity.  Those with vision beyond this quarter's numbers would be wise to jump on board before their competition saturates their market.
Post a Comment