I attended the Forum Oxford Future Technologies Conference again this year and was again impressed by the quality of the speakers and the eclectic mix of the audience. This is a networking event with a difference: reasonably priced and bringing you into contact with a different mix of industry enthusiasts from other either mass market or London based events. I enjoyed it. (And it is an interesting contrast with the Forum itself which tends to be a little techy for my taste and dominated by too few regular contributors).
Particular highlights this year were:
Mark Selby from Nokia talking about his views of an evolving mobile market. For some of his insights write to him at mark dot selby at nokia dot com requesting the Trendsetter Report. He claimed a figure of 46% of people read news on their mobile phone - this is far more aggressive than anything I have seen from m-metrics to date.
Jonathan MacDonald from Blyk who converted me to a believer (more in subsequent post) despite being too aggressive in believing that his user base would not be interested in mobile data services - something which appeared at odds with his audience's participation in a Sky subscription package worth £12.99 a month and in any case robustly challenged by Mark Curtis from Flirtomatic who was as usual on good form.
Alan Moore was as ever a delight to listen to and working with some mathematical whizzes at Xtract would seem to have reinforced his social marketing theories with hard facts. An extremely potent combination indeed.
A debate between Tomi Ahonen and Dean Bubley was an interesting format which was really well executed about whether mobile will lead internet or internet will lead mobile development in the future. A triumph which would be good see repeated elsewhere.
Christian Lindholm spoke on his view that UPC's will become a significant format in the mobile space and that Nokia will regret its decision to bypass this development. Expect Acer and others to become significant market share holders in the mobile space in the next five years.
Meeting up with Martin Smith from T-Mobile. As ever an enlightened voice of common sense in the space with his finger on the pulse. If only he would blog more!