Mobile Monday has held monthly meetings globally since 2000. The Silicon Valley chapter has more than 5,000 members and its meetings are extremely well-attended boasting over 400 active members attending the local chapter events in the Valley and San Francisco. Its December 10 meeting was standing room only in the large meeting room at Microsoft’s San Francisco offices recently.
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The panel for this month’s Mobile Monday looked at the past year and presented its predictions for mobile in 2013. The panel was made up of popular and connected Mobile Monday Moderator Mario Tapia and several VCs including: Davie Blumburg, Managing Partner of Blumberg Capital, Todd Carpenter of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Rob Coneybeer, Managing Director of Shasta Ventures, Topher Conway of SV Angel, Ian White of TokBox, and Rich Wong of Accel Partners.
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After shout outs to developers and a Christmas song dedicated to VC Ron Conway, the meeting started. You can catch the entire event courtesy the video from Ustream below.
The main discussions at the event covered the trends in the past year and ended with the panel’s predictions for 2013.
When Valley companies like Yahoo! purchase small businesses that few are familiar with—Stamped and OnTheAir–it’s an example of Aqua Hire or hiring a company for its engineering teams rather than for its products. In other acquisition rumors: Facebook is set to acquire WhatsApp, a cross-platform mobile messaging app which lets you exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. And was Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram overvalued? Instagram’s fun and engaging product was seen as a threat to Facebook, enough for Facebook to pony up more than 1 billion dollars for the company.
HTML5 vs. Native iOS
There’s an ongoing debate about HTML5. HTML5 allows developers to build rich web based apps that run on any device via a standard web browser and between Native Apps for iOS platform. Mozilla with its open source and affinity for sharing information has embraced the HTML5 ecosystem. This move indicates new opportunities for investment. You can find a great discussion of HTMLV vs Native iOS at Business Insider.
It is now easier than ever to raise funds with crowdfunding. Overall crowdfunding is seen as a positive and democratic means of raising money for one’s project or company. However, in sites such as Kickstarter new startups may compete with very sophisticated fundraisers. Launches are often from the start equipped with high-quality videos, professional photography and a social media strategy — an unfair advantage compared to the limited means of a novice fundraiser.
Verticals and Mobile
Technology for specific vertical industries was a popular topic. The consensus: SMS is in decline and there is tremendous competition in app discovery. Mobile has disrupted a number of verticals in areas such as transportation with Cherry Carwashes and Uber; household tasks with Task Rabbit; and accommodations with AirBnB. The past year has also seen a decline of apps such as Groupon and FourSquare.
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The predictions for what’s in store for 2013?
- It will be the year of the Internet hardware
- There will be less taxes for entrepreneurs
- A killer app or trend for one multibillion dollar event will emerge
- There will be a crackdown on privacy
- Social commerce will grow
- Firefox phones sales will reach 1 million units sold
- There will no longer be a distinction between mobile and not mobile companies
- Facebook will figure out mobile