At the LeWeb conference in the U.K. earlier this week Efe Cakarel of Mubi took to the stage and most people expected him to talk about the latest from his V.O.D. service. What he delivered instead was an insightful talk about working outside of Silicon Valley.
Naturally there were plenty of European entrepreneurs and businesses at the conference, highlighting innovation from throughout the region, but taking on the fragmented market and spotting talent can seem to be a challenging task for businesses who are mostly accustomed to life and work in The Valley.
Efe Cakarel (pictured below) founded Mubi in Palo Alto, but the roots of the problem he set out to solve started miles away on a different continent.
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“It was started because of a personal need,” he explains. “I was sitting in a cafe in Tokyo in 2007 and I wanted to watch a movie online. Japan has the fastest broadband speed in the world with 53 megabits per second. It’s very advanced in terms of consumer experience, especially when it comes to mobile. But yet there was not a single platform that allowed me to watch a movie while sitting in that cafe.”
The problem seemed strange in the context of sitting in a cafe in Japan. The country has the third biggest film market in the world. Film is a 120 billion-dollar business, 52% of it is home video, DVD and pay-TV like Sky. Cakarel spotted that there would be a shift in this area in the coming years and moved quickly on an idea. “I started writing a business model on the flight back to San Francisco,” he laughs.
Though the business was formed in the U.S., it now takes into account global hotspots where growth is possible for V.O.D.
“The U.S. is the largest and most vibrant Internet economy,” he notes. “But over the years we saw there is a much bigger world outside of the U.S. with very little competition so we started to study different countries and the dynamics of them” (This article is available in full at thenextweb.com).