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The weekend review: WhatsApp, lean startup and the EU app economy

This week the WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook stole the news cycle, and while at first glance the price seems insane, it actually makes more sense than you might think. Meanwhile here at Gigaom Research we are all hands on deck for Structure Data, which is just around the corner. A big chunk of our analysts will be at the show and ready to talk, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do! This week the big reports take a look at applying lean startup theory in large enterprises and the state of the EU app economy.

First, in “Applying lean startup theory in large enterprises,” Haydn Shaughnessy discusses everything you need to bring lean startup to the enterprise, along with pitfalls to avoid. 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. Whether you are new to lean startup or a practiced pro, this report is worth a read.

Next, in “Sizing the EU app economy,” David Card and Mark Mulligan take a deep dive into key findings from their analysis of two surveys of developers targeting EU markets. The report focuses on sizing and qualifying the EU app ecosystem, with an eye toward revenue generation, jobs supported, and the bottlenecks still facing EU app developers. Currently developers are mainly dependent on users paying for apps or extra features and functions within apps — mostly games. 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.

Last, in “Monetizing WhatsApp,” Paul Sweeting looks at what WhatsApp is and isn’t, as well as ways that Facebook could us the new acquisition to its advantage. WhatsApp’s founders, of course, 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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