Mobile Madness NY Dec. 4 Preview: Roger Ehrenberg on 3 Things Mobile Startups Should Know

11/6/12Follow @bbuderi

What’s true about our mobile future—and what is overblown or missing the point? Amidst lots of predictions, gazillions of apps, and a fair bit of hype, sorting this out is key for thousands of startups, investors, and consumers. And we at Xconomy hope to unearth some real insights into this question at our Mobile Madness New York event the afternoon of Dec. 4.

We have a stellar array of speakers from powerhouse players like Microsoft and Google and an array of potentially disruptive startups, from GetGlue to Mixel to Jibe. The event will also feature some of the leading investors in the space, from New York and beyond—among them Google Ventures’ Rich Miner (co-inventor of Android), and Roger Ehrenberg, founder and Managing Partner of IA Ventures. You can see the full lineup and get your tickets here—and make sure to register now for the best prices.

Miner and Ehrenberg will be joining us with one of their favorite startup CEOs to tell the VC-entrepreneur story behind that company (Miner with Stamped founder Robby Stein, and Ehrenberg with PlaceIQ co-founder Duncan McCall).

The aim of these stories is to uncover some key insights into founding great companies, and how entrepreneurs can work with key investors to make their visions reality.

In looking ahead to the event, I asked Ehrenberg for a taste of his views on myth and reality in mobile—and the perspective he brings to his investments. Here are three key ideas (lightly edited for style) that might help you think about how you approach mobile, from monetization to design:

1. “Mobile first,” like “big data,” has become hackneyed, overused, and lost a measure of importance. You might offer a product or service on mobile first, but to what end? Adoption? Data capture? Is there a plan for creating and monetizing a valuable and defensible asset?

2. Monetizing the mobile data asset is hard and requires dedicated DNA. The data scientist has become an integral part of every team seeking to leverage a mobile data asset, and their importance will continue to rise as more and more interactions and transactions occur on mobile vs. Web.

3. As important as design is on the Web, it is even more important in mobile. The form factor creates a series of opportunities and challenges for which user experience is absolutely essential; e.g., the good news is that you always have your mobile device (and are able to capture a bunch of data from its usage). The bad news is that it is really hard to create an experience that builds strong engagement and is delightful from the user perspective.

We hope to dive deeper into these ideas and more on Dec. 4—and you will have a chance to ask Ehrenberg for more details directly, either as part of his presentation or in our extensive networking sessions during and after the event.

There’ll be plenty of other great folks to meet and share views with at the event, which is at the Microsoft Technology Center in midtown (1290 Sixth Avenue). Once again, get your tickets now before the price goes up. We hope to see you there.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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