Sunday, March 3, 2019

Securing Mobility

SKT at MWC2019

Last year SK telecom announced our True Innovation program ( at MWC. True Innovation was founded to make collaborations with SK telecom fast and effective, whether you are a large technology-driven company or an innovative startup. In our first year, we had several successful collaborations in Korea and with global partners.

But more about True Innovation's inaugural year accolades later, having just returned from MWC '19 I wanted to share one of those collaborations in particular: our V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) Secure Central Gateway. As one of the founding members of True Innovation, I was personally inspired by the overwhelming interest this collaboration received from some of the world's leading auto manufacturers, mobility service operators, and tier-one suppliers. Based on the feedback from several industry insiders, it's fair to claim the V2X Secure Central Gateway is several years ahead of the competition.

The collaboration combines the innovative prowess of two of Korea's high-profile startups Gint and FESCARO, as well as SK telecom's subsidiary ID Quantique. In addition to representing a technological breakthrough for mobility, the collaboration is a symbolic culmination of the past 12 months as both Gint and FESCARO came through SparkLabs, True Innovation's strategic launch partner and Korea's No. 1 Accelerator; while SK telecom also announced the acquisition of IDQ at MWC last year.

The V2X Gateway ensures the safety of passengers by monitoring in-vehicle networks (called CAN buses) in real-time and without omissions for abnormalities. If any unusual activity is detected, this is immediately sent to the cloud where it is analyzed along with information from every other vehicle in the fleet to determine if it is a security threat, and to determine an appropriate course of action. The gateway encrypts both the in-vehicle networks as well as end-to-end communication between the gateway and the cloud, enabling features such as initiating emergency calls, or secure OTA (over-the-air) updates.

Monday, September 4, 2017

How to Lose 30lbs in 3 Months: An Intro to Quantified Self

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, health advisor, doctor or any other type of certified anything in medicine. Any opinions are entirely my own, if you die or get injured after reading this it's your fault.

My Favorite Picture for Summer 2017

My Body Weight: From 205 to 175 in 3 months

I've spent the past 3 years working as a Project Manager for Global Strategic Initiatives. All the travel, with the lavish lunches, dinners, and early morning breakfast buffets, took a toll on my health. I gained a lot of weight, and although I never entirely stopped exercising my routine suffered.

A few months ago I decided to make some changes. For years I had heard of Quantified Self (QS) and had even dabbled in apps to check my steps, how much I eat, etc. Now it was time to make a concerted effort to test how much of an impact QS can really have.

QS is a broad category that covers all sorts of sensors people can use to track quantitative data about different aspects of their body. There is an essential mantra though, and that is to "support new discoveries about ourselves and our communities that are grounded in accurate observation...." There is a lot going on here... so I decided to just focus on two things: Exercise and Diet. These are the quintessential variables of weight loss, and I wanted to know how much more effective I would be at losing weight by keeping track of them every day.

Getting Started

Since at least the 1950s people have said that weight-loss is about Reducing Caloric Intake while Increasing Caloric Burn. In other words, "eat less, exercise more." Just getting started I didn't want to burden myself with too much information, so I decided to just worry about these two stats.

I had used LoseIt in the past with some success, and I really like the app. So I decided to try using it every day to track how much I eat and burn. It's really easy to do:

1. Download the app and signup
2. Set a weight loss goal: target weight and finish date
3. LoseIt will calculate how many aggregate calories are available to you every day
4. Track everything: food, and exercise
5. BE HONEST: if you go over because of a dinner party, make it count and don't hide it

LoseIt App

LoseIt includes a massive database of foods including groceries and meal items from international restaurants, has a Barcode Scanner for quickly adding new foods, and will analyse images as well.

Next, I am a huge fan of Strava. While LoseIt has an excellent database of exercises and estimates for calories burned for each, Strava is the best tool for sharing your epic rides, runs, or walks. It's also a good tool to give you confidence in how you are making inputs to the LoseIt app so you can be sure you are tracking the right amount of calories burned.

Being Honest

Be really honest about how much you consume in terms of calories. It will only take a couple nights-out with the boys to realize that alcohol and bar foods are your enemy #1. Likewise, it will only take a couple of breakfast scones and vanilla lattes to realize that sugar-filled pastries and beverages are your enemy #2.

If you are serious about weight-loss, you will quickly overcome these vices. Tracking them will help you acknowledge the problem and deal with it.

Hitting My Stride

The first thing you realise is that exercise will make you hungry, and if you want to combat hunger-pangs you need to find food that is low-calorie and filling. Sweet Potatoes are the champions, but also Light Yogurt, or Soy Milk, and Almonds (not too many) can be great. Sweet Potatoes have a lot of complex carbs so they take a while to digest. Yogurt, Soy Milk, and Almonds have protein and fats that are great for your body.

Fat is fuel, so the goal was to get my body to eat as much of my stored fats as possible. I really didn't know how to do that, but I figured giving my body food that was easy to convert to energy would divert energy away from digestion toward fat-burning.

Bring on the fruits and vegetables that give you lots of energy but are easy to digest.

Putting it in High Gear

After a month I started to see results. I was noticeably thinner and felt better.  Feeling better was the most crucial thing. Many of us start to feel pain in our body around our mid-thirties, and this launches us into a vicious cycle of exercising less (because it hurts). However, by eating healthy and exercising daily I started to feel up to more challenges and decided to set some new goals.

These could be anything, but I recommend doing something really awesome like Hiking Across Spain, or Ride a Century.

Since I had started to intensify my workouts with a new goal (I'm going to Spain!), I decided to get the most out of them by going 100% Vegan for at least a few weeks. Living in South Korea, only the most die-hard vegans survive, so I didn't expect to sustain a vegan diet forever. However, this got me cooking ultra lean super foods at home: lentils, broccoli, avocados, etc.

Although I only stayed vegan for a short while, I now prefer seafood and fish, or lean meats in really moderate quantities (around 100 grams). Also, having gone vegan for a few weeks has shown me how amazing that diet will make you feel. I highly recommend making an effort to eat a lot less of meats and dairy products.

Taking it in Stride

After a few months, I have lost almost 30lbs. I'm exercising almost every day, and have added a daily 3x3x30 routine: 3 sets of 30 pushups, squats, and planks. The weight continues to peel-off, though at a more tempered pace. I have allowed myself to reintroduce meat and dairy into my diet, but since I am tracking everything the amount of these foods is greatly reduced.

In short, I look really good, feel even better, eat all the things I love only in more moderate and measured amounts.


Getting serious about tracking has transformed me. I am a huge believer and have become interested in what other benefits there could be by discovering other areas for improvement. Starting out with the basics, getting a handle over those first is a great idea for anyone. You will see results, promise.

What can I track next? Well, for starters LoseIt has a pro version that allows me to track sleep and water intake. Next, I'm planning to add the new Apple Watch to my repertoire, and maybe Cat Eye computer to track my cadence while cycling.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Is the Mobile Payment Tipping-point Approaching in the US?

If recent surveys regarding mobile wallet use are accurate, the mobile payment boom is about to happen. The next two years could see a rapid adoption of mobile wallets among credit card holders, causing a paradigm shift in the way we make purchases offline and online.  

20% of US Customers Are “Likely” to Load Their Credit Card into a Mobile Wallet

According to Business Insider’s Intelligence Unit the potential number of adopters of mobile wallets in the United States, among consumers with credit cards, is growing fast. The survey measured credit card holders’ negative and positive intent to store their credit card information into a mobile wallet as “Not Likely” or “Neutral,” and “Likely” or “Definitely” respectively. They also measured the number of people who “Already Have” stored credit card information into a mobile wallet.

Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 11.34.57.png

If this data holds true, it’s likely we are on the precipice (FINALLY!) for a mobile payments boom in the United States.

Scenarios for a Mobile Payment Boom

Scenario One: Entrenched Laggards, Constant Growth of Positive Intent

My first impression from this chart by BI Intelligence was that there is a wave of mobile payment adoption coming among credit card holders. However, we need to make some assumptions to see how rapidly this wave is approaching. First, let’s try to get a grasp on the situation.

Key Assumptions:

  1. 33% of respondents who say they are “definitely” going to load their credit card DO
  2. 33% of respondents who say they are “likely” to load their credit card DO
  3. People with negative intent (“Not Likely” or “Neutral”) will remain fixed
  4. YoY Growth for positive intent will remain constant

Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 16.30.26.png

In this What-if scenario, we can clearly see that the number of people planning to store credit card information in 2017 will likely increase at a faster rate than previous years. At a constant rate of YoY growth in positive intent only 95% of the population is represented. It is also likely the laggards will continue to decrease over time though we have kept them constant in this scenario.  

Furthermore, if we reduce the number of people with positive intent who actually load their credit card -- conversion -- from one in three (33%), the growth rate for people who are “Likely” or “Definitely” going to use a mobile wallet must increase even more dramatically.  

Scenario Two: Laggard Floor, Moderate Conversion

Let’s modify our key assumptions to create a scenario where we have a moderate conversion from intent to action and growth in positive intent, but a similar distribution of responses over time.

However, let’s also assume there is a floor for laggards who show negative intent.

Key Assumptions:

  1. 33% of respondents who say they are “definitely” going to load their credit card DO
  2. 20% of respondents who say they are “likely” to load their credit card DO
  3. The sum of negative intent (“Not Likely” or “Neutral”) cannot be less than 16%

Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 16.31.35.png

In this scenario we get a picture that’s more believable. We see a spike in positive intent next year, and have adjusted the growth of positive intent moving forward so we get a similar distribution among “Likely” and “Definitely” reponses. At the same time, assuming a moderate conversion rate (one in five, and one in three respondents respectively) among people with positive intent, we see a nice growth curve among those who “Already Have” stored their credit card information into a mobile wallet.

Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 15.20.53.png
Among those consumers who have already stored their credit card into a mobile wallet, how many do we think have transacted? In general we see a drop in retention of 33% for any major step along an experience. That leaves us at 66% of people who stored a credit card on a mobile wallet, transact with a mobile wallet; which is about what we would expect based on media reports on Apple, Android, and Samsung Pay use among consumers who can use the service.

Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 15.35.54.png

Does this seem like an aggressive forecast? Not really. If this is correct, it puts consumers transacting with a credit card via a mobile wallet around 30% in 2019.

In other words, half way through the Early Majority stage on the Diffusion of Innovation scale.  

Does this mean my Mobile Wallet is about to be really successful?  

It’s unclear what success means, but certainly it means a paradigm shift in the way people transact in less than five years. There are many companies banking on this shift, hence the options for consumers are growing as the market is becoming more fragmented.

Currently, most players measure success by number of registered cards, number of transactions, and the value of those transactions. However, profitability for mobile wallets is something still in the future, though certainly that future is less distant today.

How long can you stick in the fight?

Many traditional financial institutions will continue to see their mobile wallet as a value-added service, while customers who are over-served by those institutions will adopt alternatives with superb mobile experiences. Eventually, those alternatives are likely to move up-market taking away more of the retail banking market from traditional financial institutions.

Are you focusing on a superb mobile experience?

Of course, your payment service is worthless without acceptance. It is essential to have great retail partners who are part of the daily lives of your target audience. And while acceptance is key, so is awareness of your mobile wallet.

Most iPhone 7 users who have a credit card stored on Apple Pay fail to use it because they simply forget it is an option or they don’t know it is. Of course, universal acceptance would resolve this… but until you can get that (please don’t hold your breath) making sure your customers know where your mobile wallet is accepted is critical.

Combining these two critical factors, Acceptance and Awareness, into a superb mobile experience will mean you have a shot at catching onto and riding that wave of mobile wallet adoption.

Can you monetize enough?

The question still remains, how can you monetize your mobile wallet even with a wave of new customers? The recipe for success in consumer-facing mobile payments is still unclear.

There is a plethora of business models and new technologies being experimented with all the time by dozens of players across the payments value chain. Many of these are designed to reduce cost and generate income from that savings, others are designed to create more value by offering discounts or loyalty rewards, while others promise a faster checkout, or try to provide instant settlement.

The list of players is long and diverse. In nearly every country in the world there are several mobile payments players including banks, startups, telcos, retailers, and OEMS. There is a different recipe for each of them.

Ultimately the winners in each market will be those services which can combine Acceptance and Awareness, with a Superb Experience, and a unique Business Model which leverages New Technologies that address cost and speed. I wouldn’t call that a recipe, but perhaps you can call it an outline.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Is RCS Really A Sleeping Giant

Republished from my LinkedIn profile 
RCS promises to be a major upgrade to the Native Messenger on your Android smartphone. But is all the talk about a Sleeping Giant over blown? 

RCS vs. OTT Messengers

RCS, or Rich Communications Services, is a protocol that's been around for several years. It allows carriers to provide services like Voice and Video Calls, File Sharing (think Photos), and of course Chatting 1:1 or as a Group. The problem with RCS for years was that it requires Interoperability between carriers, otherwise end users can only use the messenger among friends on the same network. These contracts take time and create a complicated user experience (Johnny: "Why didn't you get my text?").
Jibe Mobile created a Hub to allow carriers to create one NNI (Network-to-Network-Interface) with their communications service in order to create interoperability with any other carrier also connected to the Hub, provide they used their white-label messenger (Messenger Plus). They offered colourful skins so carriers could "customise" the user interface. Google acquired Jibe last year, and at MWC a few weeks ago they made some announcements. Yippie! 
Google's new platform is great, don't get me wrong. However, it is great as an upgrade to the native messenger available on your Android smartphone if it supports RCS (btw only a fraction of all Android devices currently support it, though that will certainly change). The idea that RCS will emerge as a rival to OTT Messengers like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or WeChat (not to mention Instagram, SnapChat, or anything else new that "tweens" are using) is unfounded in reality, or really optimistic. 
The bottom-line is people use OTT Messengers (like other social media) because their friends use it, it's personal, it's unique, and often it's private -- or at least more private than your Google-provided messenger. And more than ever, OTT Messengers are evolving to rival not SMS or other Communication tools, but Operating Systems themselves. They are the new layer upon which all m_commerce is being built... or rather integrated with. 
If App distribution was broken before, it's dead now. The tops apps are almost always Facebook, Google, or Apple (or some other usual suspect). Services, both private and public, don't have the time or money to compete with those giants for audience. Enter the OTT Messenger with a dedicated audience that's big and local. On-demand services, eCommerce, traditional businesses, public services, payment (p2p, c2b, and even c2g) can all be integrated to the OTT Messenger. And these integrations can be surfaced, or not, based on wherever the user is. WeChat is a great example of this, and they are pushing into Subsaharan Africa something fierce with their major shareholder Naspers. That's significant in several ways, but in terms of the above examples that means millions of people who are already using their phones to pay for everything. A nudge may be all it takes to put WeChat and Naspers at the centre of m_Commerce there similarly to how WeChat has positioned itself in China. 
In addition to services, OTT Messengers are ideal for content distribution which drive downloads for other types of apps. This could be anything, literally. 
So sleeping giant? Maybe, those guys at Google are obviously creative and smart. We'll see what they come up with. But on the face of things, Google's new Jibe makes for some fancier Native Messengers, but will hardly impact the impressive rise of OTT Messengers to the centre of our smartphone experience. 
Checkout some clips from my slideshare below or see the whole thing: