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Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Steve Wadsworth, CEO of Tapjoy (Part 7)

Posted on Thursday, Nov 20th 2014

Sramana Mitra: I don’t agree with that at all. We cover e-commerce extensively. I think there’s going to be tons of new brands being built. It’s like how retail and specialty retail have evolved for decades and decades. There are always new brands and user experiences. I think e-commerce will continue to build interesting businesses and there will be new brands and businesses being built. Your point though is true that people who were interacting more through web channels are going to move to mobile devices, that’s correct. But I think the statement that you made about there not being as many opportunities for businesses being built, I don’t agree with that.

Steve Wadsworth: I don’t disagree with anything you just said. I’d be crazy to imply that there’s not opportunity. There’s always opportunities for new businesses particularly when there’s a shift in the paradigm to something like mobile. For sure, there’s significant opportunity for new e-commerce businesses and businesses of all types to emerge because of mobile. What I’m saying though is that the barriers to entry still remain higher in e-commerce because there’s a whole back-end component to it. Sourcing, distribution, and all these things require effort whereas in media, it’s basically, what that engineer or product visionary can produce.

Sramana Mitra: It’s a purely digital experience as opposed to e-commerce where it’s a hybrid experience.

Steve Wadsworth: That’s the nuance. To some degree, I think it makes it easier for a person to sit down and come up with something that hits the top of the charts in a media game category.

Sramana Mitra: You’re right, but with one caveat. There’s an incredible amount of zero logistics e-commerce businesses being developed as just digital businesses with everything in the back-end being done with deals and outsourcing, and so forth. We’re seeing $6 million to $20 million companies being built by one or two people.

Steve Wadsworth: That highlights an interesting opportunity to disrupt the traditional sourcing and delivery chain, which is happening. To some degree, that infrastructure needs to develop. It is developing. That will then lower the barriers to entry in e-commerce. I guess I was really referring to one that’s a purely digital experience and one that’s a combination.

Sramana Mitra: Business, in general, is becoming modular these days. I think that is a trend that is going to continue. That gives solo entrepreneurs to quickly put together and conceive some user experience that is unique and differentiated.

Steve Wadsworth: I totally agree with that.

Sramana Mitra: To synthesize our conversation, we’ve talked about largely four categories of apps that are basically capturing all the mind share. Number one is social. Number three is gaming and third is e-commerce. I want to separate the non-gaming media content part a little bit as a fourth category because that category seems to be monetizing the least well. Is that an accurate statement?

Steve Wadsworth: From my perspective, yes.

Sramana Mitra: Great. It was a pleasure talking to you.

This segment is part 7 in the series : Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Steve Wadsworth, CEO of Tapjoy
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