About Me

Philip Cortes Co-Founded Meeteor.com.

Dual MBA/MA from UPenn.

Avid Ideologist.

This blog is my long winded startup post-mortem. 




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Coming to a Domino's Near You....

How often have you had the pizza delivered and you either didn't have enough paper plates, or none at all.  Furthermore, how often have you tried keeping the remaining 2, maybe 3 slices using the giant delivery box.  THAT GIANT BOX DOESNT FIT IN THE FRIDGE, EVER, AND IF IT DOES, IT'S ONLY HOLDING 2 SLICES ANYWAYS.  Anywho...

A new startup in NY looked at the exact same pizza box - and came up with something truly brilliant...the Green BoxThe concept is simple - create an eco friendly box, that breaks up into components:  Four Plates and small storage box.

Below are some pictures depicting the box break up process...so simple....yet SO useful.  Please Domino's Pizza, if you're reading this, BUY THEM.  (Not that I eat Domino's...)

Step 1 :


Step 2 :

Step 3:

Step 4:

Step 5:










Mobile Phones As Payment Mechanisms

There's been a lot of buzz about the Mobile space being used to pay for things, and I found a fascinating company today - TransferTo.   TransferTo is a site that enables users to transfer credits from their phones to other phones seamlessly.    From their website :

For instance, if an Indian living and working in England wants to transfer credit directly from his mobile phone to his brother's mobile prepaid account back in India, he will go through these 3 simple steps:


Step 1: Send the amount and the destination number via SMS to Transfer To™
Step 2: He will confirm his transaction by replying Y (Yes) or N (No) to cancel it. Transfer To™ system will then process the request and reload his brother's account
Step 3:

Both him and his brother will receive a confirmation SMS when the account is reloaded with the corresponding amount

200 million people around the world are working and living in a country other than their home one. These migrants are remitting back home over $300 billion every year. Out of the 3.1 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, 2 billion are prepaid. They perform 49 billion top-up a yea

Here's a chart visually depicting the process :

According to Transfer To, over "200 million people around the world are working nad living in a country other than their home one...these migrants are remitting back home over 300 billion every year....[In addition] 2 billion of the 3.1 billion mobile subscribers are prepaid."

A friend of mine was working on a small business that was looking to complete a similar service for immigrants.  His service was focused on enabling the Indian man living in London (from the example above) to purchase white goods such as fridges and have them delivered to his brother back home in India.  It would be neat if TransferTo could enable this mobile payment mechanism for transferring more than just cell credits...

The advent of mobile banking by the Telefonica group in Latin America has proven to be nothing short of an overwhelming success.  It pushed the penetration of financial services in the most rural parts of the continent, by enabling users to make payments and access their accounts via their cell phones.  Prior to the advent of mobile banking, these users would march for Kilometers on end to deliver cash payments for their bills, and would have to operate effectively entirely with cash. 

Below is a graphic by the Juniper group on the potential of the mobile payments industry by 2012:


200 million people around the world are working and living in a country other than their home one. These migrants are remitting back home over $300 billion every year. Out of the 3.1 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, 2 billion are prepaid. They perform 49 billion top-up a yea

Custom Shoe Designing Service - I'm a BUYER!

But I did find this and was a huge buyer of the concept.....wish men's work shoes had a similar platform....


Women can design their own shoes!  Shoes of Prey has an awesome platform where you can select the heel (height and style), back, toe, and flare of the shoe, as well as colors and types of leather.

Love it.

Below you'll see the PhilCo Burgundy Elite....



AP & Other Services Charging for 30 Min Lead



The traditional newspaper model seems to be broken - at least that's what we're being told to think.  In reality, I think the media space is simply undergoing a pricing and distribution transformation - one that will be ultimately beneficial to both the firms and the end users.   The Associated Press is one of the first firms to take drastic moves to protect it's intellectual property, and price the value of time.  The AP just announced that it was going to start charging a premium to its users if they wanted to get a 30 minute lead on stories.

Over a decade ago, Bloomberg switched from being a data and analytics tool to one that also incorporate breaking financial news.  To this day, 2 the top 5 functions hit on the Bloomberg terminal have to do with messaging (MSG<GO>) and news (TOP<GO>).  What Bloomberg realized, prior to anyone else in the industry, was that people would be willing to pay for news, and the right to get the news faster than anyone else.  (This was particularly true of the financial industry).   What is no secret, however, is that the bloomberg.com newsite carries the same identical stories to the terminal TOP<GO> function, except with a 20 minute delay.  The difference between free and $2000/month is 20 minutes...


The onset of blogging, email and instant messenging networks seems to have impacted the value of data as well - the importance of time has become an incredibly valuabe commodity.  If a blogger is the first to break a piece of news, he's likely to be "dug" the most, and cited in other sources, leading to greater revenue generation for his page.  The problem is, however, that although that one blogger may have paid a subscription to a news service to have access to breaking news the fastest - he may have eaten into that news source's revenue by disseminating the information to others for free.  AP has launched a digital permissions framework to monitor the use of its information by bloggers without citations - a smart move, but a highly controversial one.

Ultimately, I think that the Bloomberg model is what many firms will evolve into - their value will be their ability to capture data and present it efficiently and quickly to people.  People will pay for the right to get the information first, and in an effective delivery tool (the terminal and its analytics). 


Google's bet on Smartphones and Web Search Advertising....trouble on the horizon...


Google just announced that it is focusing all of its mobile advertising on smartphones – skipping the 80% of the mobile phone market.  As of today, only 20% of mobile phones are smartphones, but this doesn’t seem to phase the search giant, as it recently announced the launch of a new ad exchange.   

Acording to the Kelsey Group, a market research firm, the mobile advertising market will balloon from $160 million dollars in 2008 to over $3.1 billion in 2013.   According to Citi’s Mark Mahaney, mobile advertising revenue derived from mobile searches will grow from 24% to 73% in the same time period.    Furthermore, Verizon’s CEO says that 40% of all of its new phone sales are from smart phones – helping to substantiate google’s decision to focus on mobile advertising.

If these reports are correct – then Google is on the right side of the bet :  smartphones are representing a growing percentage of mobile phones out there, and they need to be the ones capturing the revenue from search advertising on mobile phones.   

There’s a potential problem looming on the horizon for Google though – and that’s smartphone apps.  If applications are able to succinctly answer any problems a phone user encounters, then the need to “google” something may disappear.   One example of this is Cha-Cha, the free 411 service.  If you text 242-242 from your cell, you can ask any question on any topic,a nd receive an answer within five minutes.  You can ask about the latest happiness index facebook is working on, or simply where the nearest mcdonalds to your location is, and Cha Cha will find the answer for you.  If you can find this information through Cha-Cha, then you will no longer use traditional web searches on google from your phone….

As apps become the dominant way for individuals to interact, and find information they need, then their reliance on web searches from their phones diminishes greatly.  Google had better get a handle on this market – and fast – and their Android is a good way to gauge how the app market is evolving.

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