Tag Archives: Daron Jenkins

Starters+Startups was….AWESOME! (and I’m not just saying that ’cause I moderated)

Last night was the Starters+Startups: The Future of SoLoMo & You session that I moderated, featuring the CEOs and founders of three startup companies, WeMakeCoolSh.it, Wyst.it and Taap.it.

Last week, I performed some due diligence on them, checking out their products and services.

I also posted profiles of their respective companies to my blog, in an effort to learn more about them before moderating the session.

What I didn’t learn from my research (but found out last night) was that these guys were quite cool (and not just Mark and Matt from WeMakeCoolSh.it).

After a brief introduction by Virginia Chu (one of the founders of ScenePR), the event got started, and I was able to see each of these guys in action.

The first presenters of the evening were Mark and Matt from WMCS.

From the profile pictures on ScenePR’s SoLoMo page (and the content on their site), I thought Mark and Matt were going to be uber eclectic and artsy.

And I was secretly waiting to see Mark’s massive beard in person.

Where's the beard?!!!!!

Alas, he had shaved.

But when I met them, they were very down to earth, and quite charming actually.

The WMCS duo talked about their L Train project, and how they developed a home-made pirate network on the L train line, which allowed commuters to interact over a network connection that worked on the train.

Their presentation was informative and paced, with Matt and Mark sharing in the narration of the inception, testing and deployment of their ‘Notwork’.

The L Train project demonstrated, that when people have the ability to interact over mobile, in a local environment, it actually sparks interactions that would not have occurred otherwise.

A few folks became so engrossed in talking to their neighbor, that they missed their stops!

One significant takeaway for me, was the debunking the myth that mobile engenders isolation.

WMCS’s presentation proved that given the proper encouragement, mobile actually creates interaction.

The second presentation was from Wyst.it.

When I looked at the profile picture of the Amerlinck Huertas and their devilish grins, I thought, “Uh-oh, these guys are trouble!”

Don't these cats look like trouble?

Their irreverent bios did noting to assuage this impression.

But in person, Yago, was quite different from what I had imiagined.

Once again, ‘cool’ aptly describes this passionate (and nattily dressed) entrepreneur.

Flying solo (Iker was meeting with investors back in Mexico), Yago walked us through how Wyst came to be, with an interesting and informative PowerPoint presentation.

He talked about what made Wyst different from other photo-sharing or check-in apps, and the value they placed on educating users on the proper way to use or interact with their app.

With branches in Mexico, Hong Kong, Paris and New York, Yago also stressed importance of locally sourced content which made their app rich with content.

The post-panel consensus was that Yago’s presentation had the most panache.

Our final presenter was Duy (pronounced do-ee) from Taap.it.

Check the vista behind this guy!

His profile picture on the ScenePR site showed Duy lounging with a lush forestal vista in the background, so my initial impression was that he was going to be mad mellow and chill.

True to form, Duy was laid back and approachable.

He exuded an easy relaxed air, in his bright orange Taap.it t-shirt.

He started his presentation talking about the multiple iterations of the Taap.it app that ended in the trash.

Taap.it evolved from the persistence of Duy and his team to contiue developing their app, until it met the market where the need and their offering matched.

I had to chuckle to myself a few times as he described the palpable frustration he felt, being turned away by store owners who had just been contacted by Groupon or FourSquare.

But to his credit, Taap.it has over 10,000 New York businesses posting content to the app, and that number is growing.

Although he presentation was (as times) difficult to understand (Duy has a wicked Vietnamese accent), his presentation was both engaging and compelling.

When it was all said and done, ScenePR pulled off a really great event.

Matt, Yago, Mark & Duy.

The ShowBiz Store & Cafe was an intimate spot, and the section of the cafe where the presentation was held was packed.

My informal poll of the audience (including a celebrity guest, Nneka) was positive, with all the presenters getting high marks.

A few members of the audience had attended the NASDAQ event that I had drummed (all in fun, mind you) yesterday, remarked that they would have liked to have seen more startups on yesterday’s panel, since invariably, this is where innovation starts.

Others were gassed about the applications and case studies of the presenters, and were already thinking about how to apply the strategies the presenters discussed.

A few (correctly) noted that many of the innovations being discussed were already in place in other countries, and that the US was late to the party (i.e. underground wi-fi networks).

But overall, folks were buzzing off the energy of the night, and it was all due, of course, to my wonderful moderation.

Had to plug me didn’t I?

Your moderator styling!

If you attended the event last night, please feel free to comment or share you photos or videos on ScenePR’s Facebook page.

And please stay tuned for future ScenePR events – you just might see your boy getting his moderating on once again!

PS. Yago, don’t forget you’re hosting me and the fam when I come to Mexico City!

1 Comment

Filed under apps, branding, digital advocacy, mobile

The Samsung Galaxy Note LTE a “Game-Changer”? NOT!!!

Is this really a game-changer? Really?

Yesterday, I had a conversation with Daron Jenkins, a fellow technologist, and one of the founders of SCENEPR, an agency devoted to helping other agencies understand and leverage new media and technology.

Daron and I were talking about their upcoming SoLoMo starters+start ups event, and as we talked about the various potential topics for future sessions, somehow our discussion turned to the soon-to-be-released Samsung Galaxy Note LTE phone, which Daron described as a potential “game-changer.”

You must know that Daron and I are both Apple disciples.

So, needless to say, I was immediately incredulous upon hearing Daron’s statement.

A game-changer, to me, is something that makes all other competitors cringe with fear.

It’s something so totally left-of-center, that most are taken unaware, and left speechless.

A game-changer makes others in the space think, “why didn’t we think of that?”

It leaves them at a loss precisely because it creates or carves out a space for that new product, service, application, or what-have-you, that everyone/thing else seems obsolete in comparison.

Now, if you’re like me, the term “game-changer” evokes thoughts of the killer devices that permanently changed the landscape of the spaces they occupied.

In my humble opinion, there have been a few undeniable game-changers in the mobile space.

The first was the Palm Treo.

The first game-changer. The Palm Treo 270.

It was the first phone that effectively combined a phone with a PDA, offering the ability to make phone calls and keep your calendar, contacts and notes organized in one handy, handheld device.

The iPhone was the next.

The iPhone broke the mold and it's forever been broken.

Although other handset manufacturers offered their own version of the smartphone, Apple created a device that was simultaneously powerful, functional and elegant.

The last was the iPad.

IMO, the iPad ushered the end of all tablet competitors.

Again, while there are other tablets in the market, none have achieved the recognition or stature of Apple’s offering.

Which brings me back to Daron’s statement.

It was with much consternation that I even continued the conversation, in light of what I felt was an obvious flaw in his statement.

We all know that NOTHING competes with Apple.

Sure, Apple’s mobile devices don’t support Flash natively.

And marketers have responded by advising clients that sites be built without Flash.

Sure, Apple releases a new product every other day.

And people routinely line up outside of Apple stores days in advance of every new product release.

Sure, Apple’s products are tres cher.

And people regularly shell out the king’s ransom required to own it’s devices.

So whatever Samsung is coming with, has to be so spectacular, so innovative, so feature rich, so ‘that ish’, that one’s initial visceral response is “I must have it!”

To their credit, their latest commercial, poking fun a Apple-ophiles, does point out Apple’s many shortcomings.

But that doesn’t necessarily equate to changing the game.

At the end of our call, we agreed that deploying the Galaxy Note LTE with AT&T was a major faux pas, with AT&T’s spotty service and network bandwidth.

We also agreed that “game-changer” was an extremely generous characterization for Samsung’s latest entry into the mobile/tablet space.

But we’ll just have to wait and see.

I, for one, am not holding my breath.

4 Comments

Filed under mobile, opinion, technology