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mobile internet

A wonderful lineup of movers and shakers in the technology industry sat one by one to discuss the next internet: Dave Morin Co-Founder and CEO at Path, Eric Feng Founder and CEO at Erly, Marissa Mayer VP, Local Maps & Location Services at Google, and Tim O’Reilly Partner at Alpha Tech Ventures. The next wave of technology to transform the internet is without doubt the mobile web. It is no mere coincidence that the shift from a large screen to the compact mobile browser and apps coincides with the fifth anniversary of the iPhone?

Just a couple of years ago the internet was centered around Facebook. And now there is a huge paradigm shift towards the mobile web. As a society we are creating a new sense of community through our mobile devices.

What makes the mobile phone so fascinating is the fact that it hailed a true sensory revolution. The phone, in essence, has senses – it knows where you are, can listen to your commands, and can even respond to touch.

Marissa Mayer said that in June 2011 there was more traffic on the mobile version of Google Maps than the desktop version. Recently, she said the next big improvement to Google maps will be located based reminders. For example, you say, next time I’m by a Walgreens I need to get floss and your phone will remind you once you pass a Walgreens. This really ties in the digital and physical world on your phone.  She went on to say that 70% of a household’s disposable income is spent within 5 miles of the home. She also said that 11% of all commerce is on the phone and assumes there will be apps to support the local businesses with a loyalty plan. The key is having direct relationships to the customer i.e. Facebook mobile, something that is more crucial than the actual brand.

On another note, the panelists discussed a recent study which showed that with camera phones 5 year olds will learn how to read differently than any other previous generation. The child will take photos of words they have not seen before, come home to show their parents, and will learn that word at a much earlier age.

The panelists changed gears and talked about a trend that is most noticeable among popular companies that have disrupted the tech industry. A majority of founders these days are designers. Perhaps this is a Steve Jobs legacy. Notable examples include Pinterest, Airbnb, and Path. Dave Morin, CEO of Path said design thinking is what it is all about.

Dave Morin also said he was an angel investor in a new hot app that can be found at DIY.org. The founder wants this to be the first URL for boys to use in their lives. This app will allow a boy to upload a photo of something he made and will get points for how many boys that make the same thing, for example a marshmallow gun or a knot. Check it out, it’s a very innovative idea.

The panelists concluded that Amazon considers itself a customer service company and a data company. They have a decade advantage on analytics but at the end of the day word of mouth is the most effective way to bring in consumers, and social media is the best form of word of mouth! In conclusion, the heart of every app is big data. Every industry is being transformed by data.

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