MLOVEThis sponsored post is produced by Harald Neidhardt (@hneidhardt), Founder & Curator of MLOVE Inc.

“Oh Wow” – the mobile industry and venture community was taken by storm last week with the $1 billion dollar exit of Instagram to Facebook. With all the discussions about value and timing of the sale, we are reminded again how subtle things, a creative team, and a superior user experience can have such a huge impact:

Mobile will:

  • Change our future and personal lives
  • Disrupt all industries – from media and music to automotive
  • Create new opportunities for entrepreneurs
  • Accelerate the speed of digital change
  • Make service design your powerful, unfair advantage

Mobile is becoming the remote control to our lives – from the impact of our every day photo obsession to a disruption of all industries and our lifestyles to our society at large. This smart change agent in our pockets has started to make new heroes and create unprecedented opportunities for start-ups, entrepreneurs and innovating CMO’s charged with pushing the digital agenda of marketing their brand and services.

“MLOVE is recognized for its potential as an open innovation format about the Future of Mobile! Passionate participants engage in sharing and learning during two intense days and three nights. The ideas continue to grow in the MLOVE community beyond the Monterey beach compound or the Berlin castle walls that act as a catalyst to spark positive change”, said Harald Neidhardt, founder and curator of the MLOVE ConFestival.

The Age of Mobility

In 2008, the spark of the mobile app economy started the ‘Age of Mobility’. Now we are all witnessing the first $1bn exits from small teams that create addictive products like Instagram.

We are in the eye of the tornado of where Mobile will take more industries and incumbents by storm. The most exciting part is that there are no rules set in stone on how this industry is measured against existing methods or your management rule book. Mobile is the most innovative industry of our times and the opportunities for entrepreneurs are boundless!

Mobile is the key to Mobility: we are seeing how smartphones will vanish from our hands and become embedded in connected devices, cars, mHealth, out of home media and other services. This is changing fundamentally how we shop, stay fit, relax, learn and grow up. It is disrupting industries and our way of living!

If you are interested in taking part in this passionate dialog about the future of mobile, respond in the comments below and check out the upcoming MLOVE ConFestival USA in Monterey, CA, April 24-26.

Design Thinking: Accelerate Your Business

So how can you grab opportunities to accelerate your company to the next level in mobile? A question asked by founders and CMOs alike – charged with pushing a mobile strategy with engaging user experiences.

We experienced just now, how a photo uploading service with links into your social networks crushed it and put the big blue Goliath in a corner to make a move. So far, Silicon Valley VCs have looked most favorably on platforms and backend systems. Now the mobile cloud is here and winning is happening on the front-end of the smarter screen!

Other services in the past (like flickr) that once had exciting exits in their prime just lost it when they where still in the position to take the lead in mobile while their brand was hot. Good branding and #winning in online is no longer a guarantee to strike it out in the new-new age of Mobility.

In my humble opinion, the beauty and simplicity of Instagram with a well thought through and engaging service design was the winner – yes the filters are cool, but frankly not unique. Its quirkiness made it fun to become an instant iPhotographer with simple editing functions. And users rallied around the chance to become the next digital Warhol and reap their 15 GB of fame with 55,000+ followers.

“Apps must die” is the controversial position of Scott Jenson, Creative Director of frog design. Instagram investors and founders might beg to differ. We are on the verge of new services and opportunities that are driven by design. Frog design should know best – Founder Hartmut Esslinger pushed frog on the map with helping Apple, Next, Lufthansa and many more brands to use industrial design to make a dent in the universe.

Scott is proclaiming apps and services that are discovered on the fly and added automatically to the capabilities of our smart-phones – but also out of home media like billboards and bus stop signage. App discovery is a hot bed right now and it becomes harder to stand out if your mobile service is not remarkably well designed.

“I feel very strongly that this type of discovery service will be the next Google in a few years time,” writes Jenson, whose career before frog included stints at Apple (working on Newton) and Google UX.

Amish Patel is one of the most humble guys you can get to know from Microsoft.

After spending a handful of years as the touch interaction design program manager for the Windows group, he has recently moved on to help define the user experiences surrounding the Microsoft Kinect technology. His is a frequent speaker at venues like SXSW and MLOVE  and is continually thinking deeply about how to design the interactive languages we use control our future interfaces.

“I work to explore how the next generation of interface experience can accept, understand and enhance our most primary human senses and abilities – in hopes to one day guide new digital experiences spanning across health, education, retail, … to gaming, and immersive media consumption” stated Amish Patel, a proud native of Toronto, Canada.

Today Kinect comes paired to the XBOX experience, one designed for family fun and living room entertainment– but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Kinect is possibly the key used to unlock the next frontier of more natural user interfaces and on our way to use Iron Man style interaction with the content, media and services that surround us all.

When Mobile becomes the remote control to our lives this might as well be a touch less interface connected to our smartphone and/or our sneakers.

Music: Mobile Has Changed My Industry

When Grammy-Award winning rapper Chamillionaire reflected during MLOVE 2011 on the change that mobile has had on the music industry and on artists like him, he is seeing more opportunity and empowerment than remorse.

His outlook on the possibilities to engage with his audience directly through his mobile device was maybe one of the driving forces to leave the former safe haven of a record label and use technology and social media to his advantage.

Mobile is helping creative minds to succeed, build their dreams and stay connected to their fans. In fact, the music industry took social media by storm during this year’s GRAMMY Awards® – “Music’s Biggest Night”.

The marketing team at the Recording Academy, producers of the GRAMMY Awards, realized early on that mobile and social media are not necessarily threats but a means to higher engagement with the global audience watching the red carpet events and the live performances of today’s rock stars. So with the help of the mobile and social outreach, the GRAMMYs became “the most social event in the history of television,” with higher engagement than the Oscars and the Super Bowl.

“Mobile is adding so many new powerful layers to our mission to grow the value of music. In fact, with our apps, mobile services, and second screen experience, we encourage fans to curate and share the soundtrack of your life – right from your smartphone” says Beverly Jackson, Director Marketing at the GRAMMYs. “We embrace the change through mobile and are here to learn and share from Silicon Valley and international mobile startups” added the gadget-loving Jackson, a speaker at MLOVE USA.

The CMO Agenda 2012: Mobile Advertising

CMOs are challenged to keep up with the pace of innovation in digital services and social media: Is my brand conversational? Do I need shoppers to like me? Should I treat so called consumers more like people? Is integrated marketing equivalent to the “paperless office” – or does the promise hold true that my agencies are talking to each other?

In driving the digital agenda and honing a mobile strategy, CMOs are looking for best cases and success stories. In these times of rapid change I think it is too late to look for success stories that have been developed 3 to 12 months ago. Pioneering CMOs should grasp the opportunity to be part of shaping the agenda at the earliest idea stage.

As the innovation circle gets faster and instant global chance is feasible for small teams – CMOs need to ask for more innovation from their agencies and mobile teams. In a war for talent, we will see brands buying out teams and adding their apps as a branded service faster before they might be a threat as a standalone business.

The biggest push to Mobile Advertising will come when products get mobilized – this is happening right now in connected cars or even fashion and sportwear from Adidas or Nike.

MLOVE speaker Gene Keenan is the VP of Mobile for leading digital agency Isobar and instrumental in driving the mobile agenda for adidas. The traditional German sneaker brand is taking a leap into the quantified-self movement by adding mobility to their sneakers via micoach and providing customized products with their miAdidas service, while Nike is positioning their Nike+ Fuelband to be the ultimate sensor for your personal fitness.

Even more is happening with the big automotive brands: BMW, FORD and GM provide dashboard access to apps and
E-scooter or E-bike concepts from smart use smartphones as “bring your own dashboard” to show speed and battery charge.

QNX concept developers recently won the CES “Best of Show” honor for a fully equipped and pimped up mobile infotainment supercar packaged in a sexy black Porsche 911. The advanced in-car mobile app platform of the cloud connected Porsche will be presented in Monterey during MLOVE Confestival USA.

With the exponential speed of innovation, we might soon ask our self driving vehicle “Google, are we there yet?” To tell us more about the new developments in robo cars, MLOVE has invited Brad Templeton to present. Brad is an advisor to Google’s self driving car project and faculty member of the Singularity University.

Engage & Get Inspired

So where do you stand on how this rapid innovation is driving us into the new age of mobility?

We’d like to invite you to be an active participant in the dialog of startups and enterprises, agencies and scientists, American and International thought leaders and join MLOVE ConFestival 2012 in Monterey, April 24 – 26.

We learn from cross-pollination and the exchange of exciting ideas about the Future of Mobile.

MLOVE is hosting an international event series called MLOVE ConFestival. The first US event will be April 24-26 in Monterey, California. MLOVE has been called a “TED for Mobile” and “Best event for Mobile” by WIRED UK.

Themes of MLOVE ConFestival USA include: mobile advertising, connected cars, design thinking, mobile & music, and opportunities for mobile start-ups.

Limited tickets are still available with a 20% discount for VentureBeat readers. Use promo code “MLOVE12-Media-xnbg2j4” to register here.

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