Friday, November 2, 2007

Nokia Mobile Mash-Up 2007

Yesterday, Nokia hosted its annual Mobile Mash-Up event here in Palo Alto. Nokia's CTO Tero Ojanperä kicked off the event with his fireside chat session, where he emphasized Nokia's full commitment to creating a vibrant ecosystem of application and service providers on its platforms and devices. The rest of the event was testament to that indeed with a lineup of 13 startups (including MyStrands) all doing groundbreaking work in mobile applications arena. The applications presented covered an impressive range from stress management games that react to signals coming from a physical sensor that the user applies his/her thumb on to avatars that mimic the user's facial impressions.

On behalf of MyStrands, I showcased our award-winning MyStrands Social Player app, which combines media management functionality with community oriented taste sharing use cases such as "What music are my friends listening to?". In alignment with the growing consensus that successful Mobile 2.0 applications should create synergies with web and desktop use cases MyStrands Social Player's integrated capabilities that leverage its users' online profiles and music listening habits on their PCs was very well received.

IMO Nokia has come a long way in walking the talk when it comes to having a more user centric model instead of an operator centric one. Given the fact that millions of Nokia devices are sold worldwide untethered to any given operator there is good reason to believe user adoption of 3rd party applications can accelerate as more advanced and viral functionality are introduced with the handsets. The N series and especially N95 has packed together a powerful set of those capabilities already but the price points are still out of reach for a larger portion of the demographics. At this stage I expect the early adopters to take the lead and be the ultimate judge as to what applications add value to their life and which ones are really worth raving to those friends that are left in the 20th century when it comes to mobile entertainment and productivity savvy. Without a doubt, the race has just begun!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mobile 2.0 by the Bay

I was a panelist at the 2nd annual Mobile 2.0 event in San Francisco yesterday on the "Disruptive Innovations" panel moderated by Daniel Appelquist who has been organizing the event. The conference was sold out and the level of attendance was very impressive mixing industry experts and veterans from operators, technology leaders as well as some young blood from the start up world. The global emphasis was also encouraging given the U.S. and Silicon Valley centric viewpoints one can find at similar conferences around here. Actually, this to me is the biggest factor of differentiation at mobile events and especially those sponsored by a very grassroots Mobile Monday. Kudos to the organizing team for a job well done!

As for my panel we had a distinguished list that made it interesting despite being the closing panel:
  • Daniel Appelquist, Vodafone (Moderator)
  • Kaj "HeGe" Haggman, Nokia
  • Peter Stark, Sony Ericsson
  • Daniel Graf, Kyte.TV
  • Atakan Cetinsoy, MyStrands
My main argument was that the tipping point for a true Mobile 2.0 experience will have to be driven by intense personalization. By that I mean the kind of personalization that will make data services indispensable part of the consumer's lives instead of a nice to have, which is what it is to me in its current form - and a rather expensive one at that if I may say.

The personalized mobile computing devices of the future will be collecting many relevant, implicit user behavioral data and store a subset of it on the device itself but more importantly will update a richer profile on the network to maintain a memory of user history. This in turn can give way to a variety of "must have" personalization experiences going forward. This smart layer and the set of analytics tools that will manipulate it is almost completely missing at this time. While corporations all around the globe are spending billions on market research that gets old fast and billions on enterprise software projects with long implementation cycles and results that on average under deliver the promises made at inception, marketers and advertisers will be quick to realize the paradigm shift if an only if consumer behavior can be analyzed and presented near real time in a meaningful manner.

One of the audience members correctly mentioned how scary an idea this may be to the consumer if privacy issues are not properly addressed. I am a true believer in letting the user/consumer drive their permissions and privacy settings and with few exceptions I believe they should have fully transparent access to their profile info. I think this issue will be paramount in negotiating the new rules of customer contact in the world of Mobile Social Computing with no easy answers unfortunately. It is not too late at all though to set the ground rules and steal a page from the developments in the web world.

Next year try to make it to the City by the Bay for the 3rd annual Mobile 2.o and we'll continue to slice and dice these hot topics armed with a year's worth of stats, facts, rumors and flops!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hei polveutua Helsinforg!

I am here in beautiful Helsinki for the 1st time. People are very friendly and the weather is much much better than what I was bracing for. Pretty soon I will be presenting @ Mobile Monday Global Summit on the topic 'The Future of Mobile Communities'.
If you are interested, you're welcome to download my presentation here.
And of course definitely let me know of your thoughts too.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

MyStrands TV is Here!

If you are a music video fan and have fond memories of excessive MTV watching in your teen years along with you high school buddies, then you're in for an early Xmas :)
Check out the latest from MyStrands. MyStrands TV will adapt to your taste the more you are on it and who knows it may even find out that special video you dedicated to your sweetheart in 1987!!!

MyStrands Social Player - Symbian Version

MyStrands Social Player have won kudos from industry experts for its daring vision in making mobile music a social experience that carries on to complimentary platforms such as the web and desktop. MSP was recently awarded the Orange Innovation Award.
Download and enjoy your music with a few new twists!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hello World!

I have been literally dragging my feet to not leave my pencil and notebook for the digital whiteboards of the bloggers' world but I guess it is about time I rolled up my sleeves. Better late then never. Today is the 1st day of the rest of my blogLife and it begins "Now"!