Sunday, October 7, 2012

3 Key Themes from Sparxup 2012 in Jakarta

I visited Indonesia recently for the Sparxup 2012 event in Jakarta. There was a hackathon in day 1, followed by presentations and panels in the next 2 days. As always, it was refreshing to engage and listen in to ideas from the market - most of the presenters and the booth participants were from Indonesia though there were representations from Japan and Singapore as well.

Amidst the vibrant energies and furious presentations, I came back with the following 3 common themes from Sparxup 2012.

1. Community can thrive in local tribes with common passions


In my previous posts, I had discussed about how apps continue to act as outposts for communities of common passions. Apps like DishPal for food lovers sharing recipes in virtual potluck parties, and StyleTag for street fashion trend spotting target specific vertical communities and the specific mobile routines in their communities like sharing, enhancing and achievement oriented engagements. (declaration: DishPal and StyleTag are apps from SK planet, where I am now at)

In Sparxup 2012, communities and the development of which, in the local Indonesia market context, were very much represented by the respective passionate founders.

DapurMasak featured a social network dedicated in making the cooking experience fun, both in the bid to preserve the traditional recipes of Indonesia as well as to develop and enrich further the recipes. "Recu" represented the "like" in this local food community.  DapurMasak community members further continue to share and enrich their recipes through "cooking" accomplishments on the social network. Read more here on the gamification elements (cook points and badges) and monetization models (brand sponsorships in cooking challenges) in DapurMasak.

Another community, trackpacking.com focused on user generated content for backpackers. Groups in this dedicated backpackers' community were identified as "tribes". The use of "track-in" for a specific track submitted to this community, were highlighted by community members who have tried the specific track - hence the validations by this niche social network on the contributors of backpacking tracks. And by the way, this community was developed by one man, Kurniawan - simply amazing, what passion can drive!

2. Location holds context to everyday life's discovery

In my previous post, I looked at the opportunities in location-based mobile offerings. And these are increasingly being mashed into various social contexts. In Sparxup, the mobile routines around location, like sharing location information, writing, reviewing and keeping digital memories and planning were highlighted by a number of startups.

Memories associated to each moment in your travels are precious - this is the premise developers of a travel diary/travelogger app focused their energies around their offerings. This travel diary app from StoreQ, targeting bloggers, help log the travel diary entries with the help of Bing Maps and Evernote, as private notes in defined notebooks and are shareable to blogs, Facebook and Twitter public networks.

Another local travel in Indonesia, called Baroo, took care of trip planning app for holidays in Indonesia. Incidentally, this is where Baroo is located in Indonesia - yup the app was named after this place.


In terms of a different take and a wow user experience, I found Harpoen refreshing. Harpoen is all about making places social by enabling users to tagging and leaving your marks or "harps" at specific places you would like to leave your memory trails via digital messages. You could read more about Harpoen here (WSJ article) and over here (Techinasia article).

3. E-commerce is growing in developing markets

With more than 240 million people living in Indonesia, a growing middle class family with 20 million IDR monthly income to target, while shopping malls are sprouting up in a number of new places, persistent traffic jams and huge geography of Indonesia open up opportunities for e-commerce.

Fashion goods, clothing feature prominently on the agenda of e-commerce players in Indonesia as this forms the top category of goods purchased via e-commerce currently there, according to a report by DailySocial. Whilst largely driven by users surfing from PCs and at home, this has not dampened the momentum in players going to market with their offerings.


Small startups like shoppingmagz who position themselves to be the first digital shop and lifestyle magazine in Indonesia, are standing tall against other new but more established e-commerce players like blibli.com.


Blibli.com prides themselves in their quality of service and capability in delivering on their mantra of "anytime, anywhere shopping". Blibli.com aims to enable their time-poor consumers to lead less stressful lives by providing relevant lifestyle recommendations through their digital merchandising and deliver the products with easy click to buy payment options. The end to end level of service carries on to the convenient logistics fulfilment options and call centre customer service.

Seeing the energies and passion from all the presentations, panel discussions and booth visits in Sparxup 2012, these simply reaffirm my previous posts where I was writing about how:


are all leading to continual development and engagement in local or vertical communities, social conversations and the entry into commerce - these I alluded in my previous post on "3 Phase Strategy in Digital Commerce".

What are your observations on the common themes in apps, social and commerce in Indonesia or Southeast Asia in general?

Let's connect to discuss further.

Talk soon~
Nelson Wee
profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelsonwee
twitter: @nelsonwee

14 comments:

Randy Oh said...

Thank you for capturing and sharing essence of the event and Indonesian market as well! Hopefully, our apps hit the road, too. :)

WooYeoul Winesty Jung said...

Impressive brief, Admiral Nelson. Apps for communities of common passion are the most intriguing part to me in the world of dominant all-in-one social platform services. linked-in got its ration of job seekers and I hope we can verify another opp for food enthusiasts like dishPal.

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