Open Business Model Panel at Mobile 2.0 Europe moderated by Mike Butcher It’s the final panel at Mobile 2.0 Europe, featuring panelists from Blyk (Leif Fågelstedt), Admob (Laurence Aderemi), GetJar (Ilja Laurs), Bango (Ray Anderson) and Fjord (Chris Liu) and moderated by an ebullient Mike Butcher. The theme of openness has been a central one here in Barcelona. Everyone seems to agree that openness is good, but nobody can agree quite what openness means or what should be open and what can remain closed. The iPhone, for example, has been held up as a beacon of innovation, but the iPhone is also closed in a number of respects, especially around native application development. Interesting comment from Chris of Fjord – do we need a “Microsoft” for Mobile (i.e. a single vendor who can dominate the operating system space)? Ray Anderson’s response (which I agree with) is that that common platform could be the Web (and I would add, mobile Widgets which run on top of a runtime environment). Coming back to the iPhone, the thousand+ mobile Web applications in Apple’s directory should be a indication of this trend. The only problem with Web apps is – no access to device capabilities (camera, location, PIM etc…). But this is coming. Both Ilja and Laurence have spoken up on the power of mobile advertising to help bootstrap mobile innovation. We haven’t heard too much from Leif about open business models — they are pretty focused on their basic “voice and text” proposition. My question was: will mobile (Web) …

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We didn’t announce the startups on the agenda for Mobile 2.0 Europe – we had to keep something back to make for a little suspense. As I write this, the startups are now on stage presenting: Aka Aki: an exciting mobile social network platform that uses location and proximity (through Bluetooth) to encourage unanticipated interactions – such as looking up the profile of someone you happened to bump into on the street. It does this by tracking the unique Bluetooth addresses of everyone around you and checking these against registered profiles. Creepy? Possibly, but very cool. Dial2Do: a voice-based platform for access Web 2.0 services (with a special emphasis on hands-free usage, such as from the car). Shout’Em: A mobile social network out of Croatia that enables micro-blogging, media sharing, the whole shebang. ViaMobility: A mobile widget play – taking PC widgets from a varierty of platforms onto the mobile. From the mockup of the experience they presented, it looks pretty compelling. YouLynx: Converging  the mobile / Internet / PC experience, focusing on messaging, blogging, media share and incorporating Geolocation. Zipiko: Another social utiloty focusing on organizing adhoc social activities, meetups, and enabling “spending time with friends.” Making it easy to communicate your intentions (like: “I’m going to go get a coffee now”) among a circle of friends. I think they’ve got something – the user experience and design is spot-on. Plus it “improves your sex life.” There you have it. Time for a coffee break!

Pekka Pohjakallio of Nokia Keynoting Mobile 2.0 Europe In late 2006, I helped to run an event called Mobile 2.0 in San Francisco. Run up against Web 2.0 Summit, the event was first conceived as a kind of mobile “meet up” for people attending Web 2.0 – people who were interested in mobile innovation, and especially the growing convergence between Web and Mobile (which in 2006 was still quite contraversial). We ended up drawing a crowd of 300 industry professionals. In 2007 we re-ran the event and established Mobile 2.0 as a conference series. Today in Barcelona, Mobile 2.0 Europe is kicking off due to the not inconsiderable talents of Rudy De Wale. In the mean time, the topics we’ve been covering in Mobile 2.0 have gone main stream. Mobile Web, mobile social networking, social media, and other innovations that were seen as fringe in 2006 are now coming into the mainstream of industry thinking. Pekka Pohjakallio from Nokia spoke this morning on how his company is becoming an Internet services company. Alistair Hill from M:Metrics has presented dramatic growth in mobile Web usage in western markets. Now we have on stage a panel on Mobile Social Networking including Zyb (now part of Vodafone) founder Tommy Ahlers and Antonio Vince Staybl, CEO of Itsmy.com (a mobile-only social network that is taking off like wildfire). The rest of today’s program is packed with real industry experts and startups across the spectrum of mobile innovation. Exciting times? Yes.