Notes from my fireside chat at #mobile20

Image001 Twitter #mobile20



On my fireside were


Russ McGuire, VP, Strategy, Sprint.

David Katz, VP, Yahoo! North America.

Fabio Sisinni, Director of Mobile, Paypal.

James Parton, Head of Telefonica  Developer Marketing, Telefonica/O2 UK, O2 UK, @jamesparton


There were asked to stir debate and present views that would be controversial and therefore I have not detailed who said what




Topic 1 ------


So far "operators" have only been mentioned twice.  The presentation from Irv from Yahoo! did not really cover the role of the operator.  If Apple is the new Microsoft, Google is the new apple and blackberry is the new Nokia - it has all changed in 5 years. Therefore is the operator relevant and what is left for them ?




  • operator is the new IBM, dominant position eroded and caught off guard.  Can try the OS 2 route or champion open source.  They need to create value and aim for a power position as a SI
  • Is there an operator eco-system
  • Need a reality check and have to give up controls
  • Innovation - Facebook did not come from AOL, operators are unlikely to discover or create a new app
  • migration from old model of pure subscription/ pay for calls
  • where is the value as control points have gone (billing and distribution)
  • operators are bits (carriage) Bills (relationship) and Bags (distribution)
  • subsidy provides operators control - why would they drop it?
  • mobile is context and personal
  • mobility has changed - integration of mobility into everything
  • mobile strategy doesn't exist - there is only strategy


Topic 2   ----------


Hardware vs software - open vs closed

Apple is closed but UX is perfect

IBM is open

Where is trust and what happens to services such as billing

  • Software vs hardware -  they can both be open
  • web services = use cases
  • open vs closed is transitional
  • andriod allows download outside of apps store - move to open outside of software and towards open services
  • open in services mean no control
  • 200,000 apps is different to 2.5bn web sites
  • hardware is more about standards than open (bluetooth, power connectors)
  • software is about open
  • Services are core assets and if opened - what happens
  • fastest growing developer communities are closed (apple)
  • walled gardens are the new open gardens (cyclic)
  • fashion and brand are important to attract the best developers + distribution +payment


Topic  3 --------


If the best innovation I have from mobile today is applications - then that is dull,  What do you see as true innovation

  • what makes mobile unique
  • sensors and presence
  • "Point of creation, inspiration and need"
  • nothing is groundbreaking and it is very unsexy
  • Location should be somewhere
  • Is there more value in what you are doing or who you are doing it with
  • technology lead yielding to marketing lead
  • marketing 101 - you need to tell people and stand out
  • how to get seen without being free
  • new volume from mobile is not incremental it is revolution
  • mobile devices are on catch-up to web (therefore mobile innovation is migration)
  • context comes from mobile - therefore context and check-in is fabulous
  • internet of things is coming
  • interactivity is needed


Topic 4 -------


Screen size has moved from TV, PC and Mobile to every 1" step from 2" to 42" with massive cross over.  Is mobile as a term relevant or has segemation moved to on screen size


  • screen size is one variable, it is a move to use case
  • most uses on most devices - some will be better suited
  • quality is effect choice (fast on, battery, connection, cost)
  • development environments will be key
  • cross platform need to get a good TV browsers experience
  • is there a last inch problem or should we use the cloud
  • it should all happen locally
  • cloud gives control - more than changing channel
  • if it doesn't work it won't get in the living room
  • "starving rates live longer"
  • social inclusion - we are rather biased


Topic 5 -------


how relevant is branding - if business is about exploiting personal data, what is the new model.


  • controlling data is a massive burden
  • no such thing as free
  • who picks up the pieces when it all goes wrong
  • need education of users
  • regulation is a framework and there is lots missing
  • there are limited assets
  • controls should provide consumer choice
  • regulation is out of date
  • your information is a treasure - we are stewards of your treasure, this is value and we need to defend it
  • maximise value from application of data



food for thought