Seminar 3 – “Get Mobile”
“There are 6.8 billion people on the planet. 4 billion of them use a mobile phone. Only 3.5 billion of them use a toothbrush”.
(Jamie Turner 2011)
The “Get Creative” seminar rekindled an old affinity within me for invention and craft, this time in a business context. “Get Social” established a platform on which to test the water, get feedback and develop ideas. It unveiled a unique realm of opportunity where contact with a wide audience is possible without the former prerequisite of substantial funding. Both were applicable on a personal level. However, having just bought a smartphone a week or two before the “Get Mobile” conference, the third seminar of the DICE program pipped the previous two to the post in terms of timely relevance. As well as this, it informed me as to what the global mobile situation is like, gave me a sense of the innovations within the field and finally it inspired me through Johnny Walker’s story of his medical mobile experience.
The mobile phone has long been a necessity for modern day communication globally. However, with the advent of the iPhone in 2007 it has taken on a ‘Transformers’ like metamorphosis. Smart phones are the Swiss army knives of the 21st Century, the essential device for survival in the post-Internet jungle. On average it takes 26 hours before a wallet is reported lost, 68 minutes for a phone (Jamie Turner 2011). Few decisions are made without mobiles these days, not least commercial choices. As Louise Phelan, (Vice President, PayPal) told us, PayPal had €10 billion in sales through mobile in 2012. Dominic Muldoon (Business Development/Sales Strategy and Execution, Púka) told us that mobile “touches everything”. I don’t disagree. As my opening quote suggests, the sphere of influence of the mobile phone is now planet earth in its entirety. A statistic such as this provokes questions. Is this a positive or negative influence? Dominic in his talk told us that mobile helps us with “health, wealth and to take control of our lives”. While I share the sentiment of this statement I can’t say that I feel the situation is quite so black and white. Work-Home Interference can be a detrimental effect of smartphones (Derks and Baaker 2012). 44 per cent of students at Stanford University California claim to be “either very or totally addicted to their smartphones” (Thompson 2012). I personally believe that although technological advancements should be embraced, people also have the responsibility, individually, corporately and socially to acknowledge and respond to the dangers of their implications.
“Innovation was key”. In summing up the overall mantra of Nokia as a company, Eoin Cruise, (Head of Sales and Marketing, Nokia), could have been articulating what has been the fundamental lesson of the DICE program for me. As I have stated in my previous posts, I have really appreciated the examples of real life innovation that the DICE conferences have offered. I thoroughly enjoyed the sneak peek into some of the innovative features of the new Nokia 808. Tagged “The Game Changer”, with a 41 mega pixel camera and a topping up charging feature, it appeared a truly appetising prospect. Patrick Ward’s (Windows Business Group lead, Microsoft Ireland) reference to Skydrive, a new Microsoft equivalent of Dropbox offering 7GB of free storage space in the cloud and Sylvie McDermott’s (Mobile Manager, Paddy Power) description of how the Paddy Power app can read what you are watching and give you the appropriate odds showed how fast things are moving technologically.
After speaking with my fellow students about “Get Mobile” one overwhelming consensus was apparent: Johnny Walker (Founder & Chairman, Global Diagnostics Ltd) was the highlight. His talk on the history of Global Diagnostics was delivered with enthusiasm, sprinkled with humour and inspiring throughout. I found it fascinating how an observation he had as a child, noticing that there must be a better way of delivering healthcare than that which his father was dealt, re-established with an eye opening experience he had as young doctor working with pregnant women in the Aborigine community, ignited in him the desire and capability to not only create a more than prosperous business but also to transform the healthcare system of a under-resourced area of Australia. Global Diagnostics recorded €22 million in revenue in 2009 (eoy.tv 2010). In a world where profits often come about by exploitation, it exemplifies how businesses can serve and at the same time succeed.
“I miss the days when you could just push someone into a pool without having to worry about their cell phone” – Anonymous.
“Get Mobile” was for me perhaps the most well rounded of the DICE seminars so far. I found the details of the global mobile situation informative and really enjoyed the various glimpses at innovations within the field. Johnny Walker’s expo on Global Diagnostics reaffirmed in me the idea that big business doesn’t have to be indifferent to everything other than revenue. Overall “Get Mobile” helped me to see the world of mobile as not merely another tedious addition to business that I now have to concern myself with, but rather a field of possibility where ideas can flourish and opportunities can be grasped.
fastcompany.com 2009. Design Roundtable: How Can Cell Phones Improve the World, [Online]. Available from: http:/ /www.fastcompany.com/1291105/design-roundtable-how-can-cell-phones-improve-world [Accessed 30 December 2012].
Jamie Turner 2011. Are There Really More Mobile Phones Than Toothbrushes, [Online]. Available from: http:/ /60secondmarketer.com/blog/2011/10/18/more-mobile-phones-than-toothbrushes/[Accessed 29 December 2012].
betanews.com 2012. Just 45 Per Cent of World’s Population Subscribes to Mobile Services and that’s not Much, [Online]. Available from: http:/ /betanews.com/2012/10/19/just-45-percent-of-the-worlds-population-subscribes-to-mobile-services-and-thats-not-much/ [Accessed 30 December 2012].
Jamie Turner 2011. 9 Amazing Mobile Marketing Statistics Every Marketer Should Know, [Online]. Available from: http:/ /blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/24082/9-Amazing-Mobile-Marketing-Statistics-Every-Marketer-Should-Know.aspx [Accessed 29 December 2012].
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Thompson, D 2012. The New Global Addiction – Smart Phones. The Telegraph, 15 June. Available from: http:/ /www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/9334058/The-new-global-addiction-smartphones.html# [Accessed 30 December 2012].
cheezburger.com 2012. First World Problems, [Online]. Available from: http:/ /cheezburger.com/5335810304 [Accessed 30 December 2012].
eoy.tv 2010. Johnny Walker – Global Diagnostics, [Online]. Available from: http:/ /www.eoy.tv/entrepreneur_detail.php?eID=21 [ Accessed 30 December 2012].
searchquotes.com 2012. Cell Phone Quotes, [Online]. Available from: http:/ /www.searchquotes.com/search/Cell_Phone/2/ [Accessed 30 December 2012].