Tag Archives: Bill Gross

ILM West Opening Keynote: IdeaLab’s Bill Gross

Mobile and local is in the middle of a “perfect storm” of opportunity that represents a “once in a generation opportunity,” noted Internet legend Bill Gross, CEO of IdealLab, who provided the opening keynote at ILM West today in Los Angeles. “There has never been a better time to be in mobile and local,” said Gross, one of the most prolific developers of new companies in Internet history, with four IPOs to his credit.

Gross said that new technologies typically take about a decade to become new paradigms. The movie camera, for instance, never become a hit until it was possible to edit movies. “Then a whole new story- telling capability came about. That is where we are with mobile and local.”

New technologies typically begin modestly. With mobile, “we’ve ported the billboard and the TV screen down to tiny proportions.” But so much more is possible. Mobile devices should be seen as “super computers on our bodies.” The operating paradigm is “Mobile = Local = Me.”

“Give me exactly what I want right now and what is relevant to me,” Gross said, about what consumers want. “Tell me exactly what I want.” Companies that provide these services are best suited to “conquest customers” with promotions and other lead generation tools. Small companies are especially well suited to compete because they are “more nimble. David slays Goliath.”

There is especially strong opportunity with mobile advertising, adds Gross. “Mobile advertising runs with the law of physics. ‘Nudging’ costs (of consumers) is magnitudes lower because their bodies are nearby,” he said. “Proximity equals probability.” Mobile ads performs 5-18 times better than banners.

Gross also notes dayparting is “super powerful” on mobile. All the attributes of mobile together suggest that mobile advertising will reach usage and expenditure parity with other advertising within five years, and could surpass other advertising within 10 years. Today, 13 percent of usage is mobile, but just one percent of ad spending is mobile.

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ILM West Opening Keynote: Bill Gross, CEO, IdealLab

In the great tradition of ILM keynotes, we have landed one of the best yet: Bill Gross, CEO, IdeaLab. It is definitely fitting to have THE premier Los Angeles tech leader and visionary to start things off for us at the conference, which is Dec.4-6.

Gross heads up an ILM West keynote schedule that also includes Google GM of Global Channel Partners Todd Rowe; YP CEO David Krantz; CityGrid Media CEO Jason Fingers; and Facebook Director of Global SMB Dan Levy.

Gross is in the Internet Hall of Fame as the inventor of the auction system for selling contextual advertising (later adapted by Google). He has, in fact, had a tremendous career in software, search, media and multimedia.

After working at Lotus for six years, Gross founded Knowledge Adventure, which made educational software for kids, and sold 20 million CD ROMs. In 1995, French media giant Vivendi bought K.A. for $90 million.

In 1996, Gross founded Idealab, a pioneering incubator which was what he called “a company that makes companies. Seven of the original 10 companies survived for the first year, including four that later went public. Among them: Overture and CitySearch. IdeaLab also has been home to InsiderPages and currently, PunchCard.