I’m struggling to see the point of a NFC based startup.

Perhaps it’s because it’s Saturday, perhaps it’s because my advancing years filter out a lot of startup rubbish that I once thought was brilliant as that sliced bread invention.

I will say this though. Putting stickers on things is not going to cut the mustard

While Tagstand is a good idea we’ve been here before. Touch-a-tag (known as Tikitag before that) has been around for years and closed up shop once Alcatel-Lucent decided they’d learned everything they needed to.  In June 2012 Alcatel annouced they were shutting Touch-a-tag down. 

Here’s what they learned….

1. Nokia and some Android phones would do NFC.

2. Retailer adoption is a nightmare

3. Getting customers to put a sticker on their prized phone was never gonna fly.

The widescale adoption of NFC still hasn’t happened and until it lands in something like th iPhone or iPod Touch then I’m not entirely sure if it’ll ever happen like we imagined.  

With regret I’m speculating that NFC tags will be confined to the geekerati’s fascination with the Internet of Things. Why? Well…

For widespread adoption that clincher is simple, NFC stickers need to come down in price from $1 to 1c a tag. No company would be willing to spend $300 to service 300 customers on a technology that requires changes in hearts and minds. 

From a retail perspective if it doesn’t integrate with the point of sale then it’s not really worth doing. I’ve been a victim of that issue many times. Retailers love process, they thrive on it. And if you can introduce something that messes up their process and adds time to their number one aim, “GETTING MONEY IN THE TILL”, they won’t use it. Absoletum, obsoletum. 

Zapatag in Ireland came close to doing something real good with NFC. Close, but no…. well you get the picture.


If you want to disupt the retail industry then you need to partner or own a point of sale company. Take a leaf out of Jack Dorsey’s book, become the core of the transaction, not on the sidelines.




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