We are fascinated by the disruption underway in mobile applications. Carriers seem to have lost their role as gatekeepers for applications as smartphone sales are rapidly ramping and "app stores" or direct downloads are the new distribution models. This is exciting as it opens up a whole new arena for startups to compete in. Here is some of our early thinking about this with the goal of getting a discussion going.
The challenge for startups (and investors!) has been identifying opportunities that are "native" to the new platforms. By "native" we mean opportunities that simply did not exist previously and cannot exist without the phone. For instance, we would not consider delivering breaking news to a mobile a native opportunity, as a startup rarely has a better chance of being "CNN for mobile" than CNN does.