Mobile Future

Good to Great…

In Jim Collins’ best selling book Good to Great, Mr. Collins takes a close look into the factors and traits it takes to make good companies great ones.  In the context of those studies, one might think that those industries and companies have a "miracle moment" which sets them apart from other sectors or the competition.  However, Mr. Collins found that there was not one magic moment and that "some executives stated they weren’t even aware that a major transformation was under way until they were well into it."  With that in mind, let me take a moment to discuss the transformation occurring and how the wireless industry is evolving from good to great…

Nearly two years ago, I wrote about Twitter and how everyone at a telecom conference I was attending in California was talking about it.  The mobile-social service has now reached the mainstream with lawmakers, journalists, professional athletes, and even movie stars embracing the medium to connect with constitutents, readers, and fans.  One reason for this success is the mobility of the service, the various apps that enable users to utilize the service on a variety of gadgets, as well as the option to receive SMS tweets from those folks I choose to follow.  Think about it — my mobile allows me to connect with over 800 followers simultaneously and is even revolutionizing how are democracy works.

The transformation to greatness is the collaboration that continues between entrepreneurs and the carriers.  No, it is not a perfect relationship and there have been some growing pains along the way. However, that is a result of the change and progress being made and ultimately, consumers are benefiting from it.  Twitter is just one example.  With regard to application innovations, a year ago, all the buzz was around building applications for Facebook.  However, when someone in the tech community mentions "app" these days – it could very well be for an iPhone.

We want more than voice and text these days.  We want to know where our friends are and what they are doing.  Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are experiencing exponential growth and usage via wireless.  Mobile live streaming app providers are seeing tremendous growth in their services as consumers utilize their smartphones to share their life moments with their friends and families.  Citizen journalists have also benefitted by using these services to augment their storytelling.  Not to mention the growth of location-based social networking services like Buddycloud or Brightkite.  The movement from just navigation to awareness is here!

Once again, collaboration is leading the wireless industry forward.  Small companies and entrepreneurs see the mobile opportunity is strong and are creating these cutting-edge innovations that can thrive on next generation networks.  Some wireless providers are embracing these efforts more than others and consumers will have the luxury to choose which one suits them in this competitive environment.  I look forward to reporting on the latest innovations in the sector and seeing if we can achieve Mr. Collins’ ultimate goal of remaining great and being Built to Last.