Last week on Gigaom Research: What’s up with WhatsApp, lean startup and the EU app economy


This week over on Gigaom Research, we walked through applying lean startup theory in large enterprises (spoiler: it may be easier than you think), Facebook’s big WhatsApp acqusition and David Card and Mark Mulligan took an in-depth look at the EU app economy.

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Buyers Lens: Applying lean startup theory in large enterprises
Haydn Shaughnessy

The lean startup philosophy is everywhere these days and now it’s making its way into the enterprise. In this timely report, Shaughnessy lays down the framework for bringing the “fail-fast/fail-cheap” philosophy to the enterprise along with common pitfalls and benefits. He also looks at ways to address common enterprise policies such as strict ROI and stage-gate processes that dictate how product development currently takes place, and ways lean innovation plays comfortably into such a structure. Overall, Shaughnessy concludes implementing lean startup ideas in larger enterprises takes process adaptation and development of skills, as well as a commitment to openness – none of which are a given.

Mobile: Sizing the EU app economy
David Card, and Mark Mulligan

This report takes a close look at the state of app developers working across EU markets, with the goal of sizing and qualifying the EU app ecosystem. With an eye toward revenue generation, jobs supported, and the bottlenecks still facing EU app developers, David Card and Mark Mulligan look at the current focus of existing community of app developers, which are mainly dependent on users paying for apps or extra features and functions within apps — mostly games. They key findings are especially interesting, and paint a picture of untapped opportunity in the market, especially in less consumer oriented areas. The largest areas for growth and demand are in contract development, where there is an unmet need for startups to connect with would-be enterprise customers.

Consumer: Monetizing WhatsApp
Paul Sweeting

This update looks at what WhatsApp is and isn’t, and how Facebook could use the new acquisition to its advantage. Sweeting notes that WhatsApp’s founders are famously averse to advertising, so unless they have a complete change of heart, simply porting Facebook’s primary monetization model may not be an option. Sweeting also argues that the WhatsApp acquisition gives Facebook a chance to develop some non-advertising based and mobile-centric revenue streams without greatly disrupting its current business.

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