Recap of Pacific Northwest Wireless Summit

Recap of Pacific Northwest Wireless Summit


Beautiful Vancouver, BC hosted the first Pacific Northwest Wireless Summit 16-17. I got up early at 4 and by 4:30 (yes in the morning) was on my way up north. A nice 3 hr drive into the city.

On 16th the conference hosted the leadership summit of prominent folks in the wireless industry from Northwest. I was invited but couldn’t make it. 17th was the main conference while 18th was devoted for investment related discussions. There were keynote presentations spread throughout the day from experienced professionals to young entrepreneurs, a pretty good mix of apps, services, and infrastructure discussion. Some of the most interesting ones were given by Peter Howley, Chairman of Success Generation Systems and Fred Ghahramani, cofounder, AirG.

Conference was divided into the technology track and the business track. I participated mostly on the business track so missed out the technology discussion. The day started with a small presentation I gave on Mobile Advertising which was the first time I was sharing some of the research from our upcoming Mobile Advertising book.

Then, Olivier Vincent of Canpages discussed the role of local content in advertising. Following the two presentations we went straight into the exciting panel discussion. Alfredo Tan, Sr. Director at Yahoo! Mobile and Matt Snyder who recently was very active Nokia Mobile Advertising efforts (and now runs his consulting company) joined in with moderator Michael Bidu.

We had a very engaging discussion on the state, potential, opportunities, and the risks in mobile advertising. We could have gone for hours. The key points I drew from the discussion were that we are early but things are growing fast and as long as we take care of fragmentation and privacy issues, mobile advertising has a strong future ahead.

The second session was moderated by Fred of AirG with Alfredo, Trevor Doerksen (Mobovivo), and Stephen Nykolyn (Material Insight) on the panel. Fred was very keen on the carrier being the dumb-pipe debate trying to corner the panelists into forecasting the fate of the operators in the next few years and like able politicians, no-one attempted to bite.

There was a panel on Mobile Trends and Insights which also led into the discussion of why foreign companies don’t do so well in developing markets. Lack of local presence and strategy is the main reason.

Next, I moderated a panel on Understanding Mobile Asia with panelists – Asokan Thiyagarajan, Motorola, David Dai, CellOn China, and Karl Weaver, Newport. Again, we could have gone for a long time as there is lack of understanding of the Asian markets – China, India, Japan, and Korea. We discussed stats, business models, technologies, strategies for companies to succeed in these markets.

Caroline Lewko has been the fearless leaders of the developers and her work at WIP Connector has helped numerous companies and individuals. She moderated a discussion on go-to-market strategy.

By now, it was time to head back. After managing through the city traffic, it was a smooth ride back after crossing the border.

All-in-all a great start to what I hope will be an annual event.