Last week, the Ribbonfish team attended Apps World at the Excel in London. With over 10,000 attendees, 300 speakers, and 350 exhibitors – the event is right up there with the best in the industry.
Here’s a quick overview of three talks we saw;
 

India – A close look at the mobile first economy

Daniel Neumann, ClicksMob
The first talk that we attended was by Daniel Neumann, VP of Business Development at ClicksMob. He was discussing the opportunity that India provides to those entering the apps market – and many other markets for that matter. He spoke about how a number of factors are highlighting India as a major growth market for tech; the young population (60% are under 30 years old), a growing middle class, low cost devices, the rollout of 4G, and a vibrant developer community.
By 2016, India will become the second biggest smartphone market on the planet. Daniel mentioned that the 150 million English speakers also provide a huge opportunity for UK businesses to make gains – which is something that often gets forgotten. The country might just become the world’s first ‘mobile-only’ economy, with many Indians in rural areas experiencing digital for the first time through their smartphone. This means their online consumer buying habits are purely mobile, without the influence of desktop or laptop computers.  
 

It’s all about audiences

Spencer Scott, Fiksu
Secondly, we listened to Spencer Scott, Chief Revenue Officer at Fiksu. He talked about the importance of taking a data-driven approach to mobile. Citing plenty of different studies, he contested that consumers spend more time in mobile apps than they spend watching TV. Furthermore, 90% of mobile time is spent ‘in-app’ – meaning there’s a huge opportunity for advertisers and marketers. There is all sorts of data that we can use to target mobile users effectively – behavioural data (device IDs, in-app events, infrastructure), first party data such as IP addresses and Facebook IDs, and third party data. The crux of his talk was that if you’re not targeting mobile users with your marketing, you’re missing out!  
 

Fireside chat at the Disrupt Arena

Dr. Sue Black
Baroness Martha Lane Fox  
Perhaps the best talk of the day was at the Disrupt Arena, between journalist and academic, Dr. Sue Black, and Baroness Martha Lane Fox – co-founder of Lastminute.com. They framed their discussion around the issue of women in the tech industry, but this opened up many other interesting avenues of conversation.
At the moment, only 10% of internet-based businesses are started by women. Whilst women are making tracks in technology, there’s still a long way to go. Both speakers agreed that a change was happening, and by highlighting and championing the role of women in technology, further advancements will be made over time. Dr. Black and Martha Lane Fox are heavily involved in initiatives to promote women in tech, such as techmums.co, BCS Women, and doteveryone.
The discussion moved on to how technology has a very real role in helping people. For the disadvantaged in society, learning basic digital skills can open up a world of opportunity. Whether it’s to improve the day-to-day that little bit more, or to start up a new venture online, having digital skills can be life-changing. Martha Lane Fox highlighted that the UK has a great opportunity to fly the flag for educating people about digital, and that the private sector should ramp up their involvement in this sphere.
Dr. Black asked Martha Lane Fox about the challenge large organisations face when battling fresh industry disruptors. She claimed that many FTSE 100 companies are structured for a very different time. Many of the leading executives don’t realise that the culture of how you do business, and how you operate as a team, has changed fundamentally.
In government, “there are pockets of people doing absolutely amazing things, really brilliant stuff. But sometimes government doesn’t move quickly enough, which leads to an eroding of trust. it’s important for how we structure ourselves as a society – local government leaders are the next wave of people that should be encouraged to adapt at speed.” She then pointed to Estonia and South Korea as key examples of how government has embraced digital, and helped its citizens to adapt.