Mippin, a London-based start-up that redesigns online content for mobile consumption, has welcomed a new CEO and reached a fairly impressive milestone of a half million users. The new CEO, Judy Gibbons, runs a company that has developed a mobile portal which allows its users to easily browse through news sites and blogs. It also remembers what you kind of articles you like, offering a personalized news selection.
Gibbons told GigaOM blogger Stacey Higginbotham that she believes there’s only one Internet, and no separate mobile one. But browsing with a mobile phone comes with a lot of challenges, which her company is willing to meet.
So far they seem to handle them pretty well. Even with my own backward Nokia phone, I can easily browse through my favorite blogs. Though Higginbotham questions Mippin’s ability to stay alive, as in a world where mobile portals keep popping up – it’s hard to survive as a start-up based on a advertisement-driven business model. She does have a point, yet I believe she somewhat underestimates the potential of Mippin, as their service is well-executed (“nice” in Higginbotham’s words) and knows how to use the power of the iPhone for its own good.
Mippin launched an iPhone version that allows you to browse through web content superfast. They know how to promote this, and started a viral-sensitive Pepsi Challenge – in reference to the cola-tasting tests Pepsi always won. Two Mippin employees show how much faster Mippin loads their favorite blog, Engagdet, and how easily you can browse to the next or previous post. The latter is particularly important, as an iPhone RSS reader (like the one by Google) also loads fast – yet they don’t have the next/ previous buttons.
Although I share some of the doubts of Higginbotham – it remains hard to tempt the early adopters -, I do give Mippin a higher chance of succeeding than many of its competitors. Why? Simple. They have developed a really good product.