Monday evening marked a milestone on the Xtreme Labs Timeline. With a new presence in New York City, we made our big splash in the Big Apple by headlining Mobile Monday New York.
After weeks of strategizing, planning and hundreds of emails it all came down to 6:30pm on Monday June 18th, 2012. With the event located at the Times Center, steps from Times Square, we could feel the anticipation building as the pulse of the city quickened during the post work rush. As we prepared to open the doors at 6:30pm there was already a lineup half a block long down either side of the street; someone even said tourists were stopping to ask what was happening in there! At 6:40pm we opened the doors and the next half hour of mayhem was dedicated to signing everybody in to the sold out event. After the 200+ mobile enthusiasts donned their name tags there was some time to relax, have a cocktail, and start talking mobile.
When the lights dimmed and chimes rang to usher us into the theater, it was show time. After a quick intro from our Co-Founder, Amar Varma, we had three star-studded panels that covered hot topics and trends in mobile. By bringing together a diverse group of smart and knowledgeable individuals we were able to generate a higher-level discussion with industry leading players. Spurred on by questions from the audience, all three of the panels brought valuable insights to the table.
For our first panel, we dissected the extremely relevant issue faced by media companies today: how are individuals consuming more and more media on their mobile devices? There to defend, divulge and discuss the topic were three media gurus: Ashish Patel, head of Social Media at VICE Media, Dave Pinke, Product Manager for Mobile at Condé Nast; and Bill Riordan, Head of Product at Thomson Reuters. Moderated by a friend of Xtreme Labs: Mathew Ingram, Senior Writer at GigaOM, the discussion focused on how readership/viewership is changing, and the best way to engage your audience via emerging technologies.
Next up was our technical panel: Hybrid Apps: Myth or Reality. Moderated by our VP of Engineering, Farhan Thawar, the panel debated the opportunities available and the drawbacks of developing native applications on the OS, versus hybrid apps through the use of HTML5. There to discuss this trend with Farhan were: Mike Sommers, SVP of Product at Fn(x); Mike Finkel, Director of Web Product & Emerging Technologies at The New York Times; Matt Halpin, Senior Architect at Wireless Generation; and Sam Coward, a Software Engineer at Pivotal Labs. This heavy- hitting panel discussed how each type of app would affect consumer engagement, as well as how one type of app might be more applicable to one business then to the next.
Our last panel focused on how apps can either support, or star in your business model. On this panel was our very own Mike Stern, Director of Channel Partnerships; Kai Bond, GM at Hatch Labs; and Pete Davis, Director of Media & Publishing at Urban Airship. Moderated by Mathew again, the panel debated whether business models need apps, or if apps need business models. The panel also discussed how to monetize your app, the use of advertisement, and whether building an app with the sole intention of being acquired is a practical business model.
We owe a big thank you to all of the panelists we mentioned, as well as to Mathew Ingram, and finally to Mobile Monday New York for helping to facilitate such a great experience. Stay tuned for more Xtreme Labs events!