Pearls from IGNITION WEST: Future of Mobile conference
I had the pleasure of attending IGNITION WEST conference last week in San Francisco. Organized by Business Insider, the event explored the future of Mobile. I was really excited to be in a room full of people interested in one of the hottest trends right now.
The Current Trends in Mobile
The Business Insider’s team kicked off the conference with the discussion on the current trends in mobile…the growth of smartphones and tablets, the platform wars, and how consumers are using mobile devices.
Last year the number of smartphones sold exceeded the number of PCs sold and the potential for growth in mobile is still enormous and in fact, we’re still early (835million SmartPhone users vs. 5.6billion DumbPhone users).
The Future of Mobile Apps
Simon Khalaf, President and CEO of Flurry showcased the current trends in mobile apps and talked about how mobile app businesses are disrupting industries, mobile app usage, and how app developers are monetizing mobile apps.
Mobile Apps are eating software and the world? View the Full Slide Deck.
The Golden Nuggets
Throughout the day, we heard from many companies and VCs in the mobile space. Here are some pearls of wisdom that I heard from some of the presenters.
- “We’re not in another bubble…In 1999, there were 38 million broadband Internet users worldwide. Today, there are 1.2 billion people getting broadband Internet access on their phones” ~ Simon Khalaf, President and CEO of Flurry
- “Smartphones are enabling new markets. Postmates, which enables geo-located services like the ability to press a button and get a bike messenger or a truck, and Gigwalk, which is disrupting the temporary jobs market. You can get a job in a few minutes.” ~ Jeff Clavier, founder and managing partner at SoftTech VC
- “The leading edge stuff is usability … it’s not leading edge … it’s just sh*t we aren’t very good at.” ~ Dave McClure, founding partner at 500 Startups
- “It’s about going through false starts... Brbn was a false start. The best companies in the world have all had predecessors. YouTube was a dating site. You always have to evolve into something else” ~ Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram
(Instagram originally started out as a check-in app called Brbn)
- “Hiring is a long-term process. Hiring starts a year before you build your company. It’s the network you build. The first five people we hired at Instagram were good friends. Trust is by far the most important thing. You’ll never find your co-founder on Craigslist” Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram
- “Great CEOs are made, not born. One reason Facebook has been so successful, is that Mark Zuckerberg has learned how to be a great CEO, which he wasn’t at the beginning”. Andreessen Horowitz, founder and partner Ben Horowitz
- “Zynga is a game company. We stopped looking at ourselves as a game company.It’s not just the launch of a game, it’s the launch of a franchise. It’s bigger than most movie launches in Hollywood. Rovio is one of the first brands to launch from the digital to the physical world” ~ Peter Vesterbacka, CMO Rovio
- “In technology, you are in the innovation business. In order to hit the next product cycle, you’re going to have to reinvent the company. If you look at long lasting technology companies – IBM, HP, Intel, Facebook, and Amazon – all of them are run by founders who play a prominent role in them. The innovation comes from the founder”. ~ Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Ben Horowitz
- “Zynga has been good at buying companies early. We bring in teams that are a good DNA fit for our business. Also, games that bring good games into our ecosystem” ~ Travis Boatman, Mobile Chief of Zynga
Follow the #ignitionwest hashtag to see what other people tweeted at the event.