6 uncertainties that will shape the future of mobile operating systems


Yesterday I completed co-presenting the three-part Ketchum webinar series on Tapping the Power of Mobile. The feedback was excellent, with record audiences of Ketchum clients and staff for the series. Here is an overview of the content we covered over the three webinars.

The final session was on Where Mobile is Going, which looked at the mobile industry landscape, as well as the implications of emerging technologies such as 4G and LTE, next generation augmented reality, NFC and mobile payments, new interfaces such as video glasses and pico projectors, mobile sensors, and far more.

I began by looking at the mobile operating system landscape, showing the forecasts recently made by Gartner, as below.

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World-leading Australian crowdsourcing platform 99designs gets $35 million, shows depth of Australian tech


As I have written before, Australia is a global hub for crowdsourcing platforms, with the likes of Freelancer.com, 99designs, DesignCrowd, Kaggle, Ideas While You Sleep and many more resident here.

We have tapped some of this Australian expertise for our events, notably our Future of Crowdsourcing Summit, held last November simultaneously in Sydney and San Francisco.

The latest news is that design competition platform 99designs, in its first external fundraising, has just received an investment of $35 million from major VC firm Accel Partners. Techcrunch reports that 99designs has been growing at 120% per year, and that the number of design competitions hosted by the firm has doubled in the last four months. While the company didn’t need money, it started to see the potential of investing in growth. According to Techcrunch,
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Tablet computers as seen from 1994


The rise of news on tablets such as the iPad is one of the defining themes of our times. This was foreseen by some, even down to the language that we use. The following video, created by Knight-Ridder in 1994, describes their vision of the future of tablet newspapers.

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Global mobile market shares: who’s winning


In preparing for the Ketchum Webinar Series on Tapping the Power of Mobile I wanted some data on international differences in mobile operating system shares. I was just about to begin compiling some data from StatCounter when my co-presenter One2One CEO Simon Noel pointed me to a visual created by iCrossing who have done a very nice job of it already.

Click on the image for full size

A few things stand out from this data:
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Serendipity is at the heart of today’s emerging society


Serendipity is for me a deeply meaningful word.

The more than dozen posts discussing serendipity on my blog include how we created “enhanced serendipity” at an event I ran in 2003 in New York, more details on the story of the word serendipity and how to enhance it, the importance of the “serendipity dial” and far more.

One of the reasons I love Twitter so much is that it provides a rich substrate for serendipitous connections. A majority of the worthwhile connections I make these days come from Twitter. One of those connections is @AnaDataGirl. We have followed each other and had some conversations for a good while. So I heard multiple times that she did a gem of a presentation at SwitchConf in Oporto, Portugal last week.

Here are her lovely slides – while I’m sure they don’t do justice to the presentation itself they are well worth going through, as they capture some of the key concepts of serendipity and provide some delightful examples.

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Why high performance organizations will thrive on uncertainty and lack of control


I recently gave a presentation at an offsite meeting of the leadership team of a global professional services firm. I was asked to speak about the future of business, and to be provocative, which is usually my objective in that kind of situation – it’s not very valuable if you can’t get people to think differently.

I discussed the driving forces of global business, and then gave them three ‘propositions’ of how I saw the future of business. One of the three propositions, which was really the underlying theme of my presentation, was ‘High performance organizations will thrive on uncertainty and lack of control.’

When you look at what has really changed in the best performing organizations of today compared to say those of a couple of decades ago, this is at the heart of the matter. Executives used to be in control, know what was happening, and to direct the company’s activities in detail to achieve success. That doesn’t work any more.
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Crowdfunding in film takes off: the case of the attack of the space Nazis


Crowdfunding is the topic of the moment, or maybe it only seems that way from the response to my recent posts on possible changes in regulation on crowdfunding and how the scene is developing.

Movies are probably the endeavor which has attracted the most crowdfunding initiatives, including:
A Swarm of Angels (which I first wrote about in 2006)
IndieGoGo (which started with films and has broadened into other creative spaces)
The Age of Stupid
Artemis Eternal (click on ‘Begin’ for details)
and others.

Now a grand new experiment in movie crowdfunding is under way, with the Iron Sky project. The premise of this “dark science-fiction comedy” is that in 1945 Nazis went to the moon, and in 2018 they are coming back… It has all the makings of a cult classic, which is exactly the kind of movie that does well in crowdfunding. Budgets are small (compared to Hollywood), a limited pool of dedicated fans can make the venture profitable, and the crowdfunding process is integrated with building a community that will want to see the movie and spread word to their friends.

Check out the awesome trailer:

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Ketchum Webinar Series: Tapping the Power of Mobile


Mobile is shifting to the very heart of media and content. As such, in delving into the future of media over the last few years I have had an increasing focus on the mobile landscape, how to tap its potential, and where it is going.

Starting today, I am co-presenting a three part webinar series on Tapping the Power of Mobile run by leading PR firm Ketchum. Here is an overview of the three sessions, which slices the hefty amount of content, case studies, and insights we will be covering into segments that are each self-contained, but together provide a great foundation for creating value from mobile marketing.

Below is the full description of the webinars, which are for clients and friends of Ketchum, primarily in the Americas and Europe given the session timing. Contact Maegen Noble (see the bottom of the post) for further details.

I’ll share a couple of the insights we cover in the webinar series on this blog along the way.
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Insights into the next phase of crowdfunding: tearing down legal constraints and building reputation systems


The post I wrote on the weekend, SEC opens the gates to crowdfunding and a new structure of capitalism, was on Techmeme for over 24 hours and was ranked by Topsy as one of the 100 most tweeted links , so this seems to be a topic of general interest.

One of the best things about doing blog posts is that you uncover interesting perspectives, especially through comments and reactions to the post, and thoughts provoked by those. Here are a few follow-on thoughts and references:
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SEC opens the gates to crowdfunding and a new structure of capitalism


This is significant. While talk doesn’t necessarily lead to action, a significant shift in capitalism could be coming.

On Wednesday US SEC Chairman Mary Shapiro sent a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight Committee. The letter is embedded at the bottom of this post.

Many have focused on the potential from the current SEC review to relax limits on shareholders for private companies, notably the rule that if a private company has 500 investors or more it has to disclose its finances. Changes to this and related rules could have a significant impact on capital raising for private companies.

Few seem to have focused on what I think is potentially a bigger issue from the SEC moves: opening up crowdfunding as a mechanism for equity investment. The Wall Street Journal has an interesting piece called SEC Boots Up for the Internet Age. The article begins:
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