Happy New Year! Welcome to the year of ….

 In opinion

Happy New Year to all London Calling readers and welcome to the year of ACTION!

You thought I was going to say the year of mobile didn’t you?

I’m really over people saying “20xx will be the year of mobile”, in fact when we were filming some thought leaders for an upcoming series on Every Single One of US, Jonathan MacDonald, Ewan MacLeod, James Whatley and I agreed to banish the use of this phrase forever!

You see using the “20xx will be the year for mobile” just serves the purpose of the latest phase of the mobile industry, not the industry as a whole.

I never heard the SMS people say “2000 will be the year of mobile”, or the 3G people saying “2005 will be the year of mobile”… it’s just silly.  For a while now there have been more mobiles in the world than PCs. Mobile is here – forever.

In every sense, the “year of mobile” has been well and truly passed

It was the “year of mobile” when my Dad got a mobile
It was the “year of mobile” when my Mum got a mobile
It was the “year of mobile” when I started to send and receive SMS from my parents
It was the “year of mobile” when people in coffee shops that have WiFi hotspots were all using 3G dongles
It was the “year of mobile” when people started using Facebook on their mobile without having to think about how to do this
It was the “year of mobile” when I was able to send a picture of my daughter enjoying her Christmas presents in London to my father’s phone in Nuriootpa in South Australia by MMS and he received it without needing to do anything

The mobile is here. Period.  Extensions to this in terms of mobile internet, mobile advertising will come – this is clear. WHEN “it” – the next phase comes, and at what rate is up to us as an industry.

If we make it easy for consumers to access our services, they will consume.

If we ask permission, preference and respect their privacy, they will tell us a bit about themselves.

If we make it easier for brands to access their customers, they will spend money with us.

We need to make it easy and remove the impedance we all contribute to in the mobile industry.

More importantly, 2009 needs to be about action.  It needs to be about the smart solutions with well founded and funded business models getting to market.  It needs to be about like minded companies getting together to make mobile advertising easy.  Too many companies are floating around all looking for customers, but if they worked together it would make much more sense.

I’m going to put my words into action – and start some new initiatives this year.  The first couple of these will be to invite like minded authors to contribute to London Calling, to give the site a broader reach and voice.  I have already approached some thought leaders outside of the UK and hope to have them on board soon.

Also, I’m going to initiate a series of  “Lunch with London Calling“, where I invite thought leaders in the mobile space to lunch and seek their views on their area of interest or expertise.

To kick this off, I am delighted to be having lunch with Alan Moore in the first week of January, and I am sure he won’t mind sharing some of his thoughts with you on London Calling in the coming weeks.

I’m also getting right behind Jonathan MacDonald’s Every Single One of Us movement and hope to help in some small way to effect change in this dynamic and exciting industry. 

I’ll also be at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 14th – 19th with Gigafone, and I hope to see some of you there. Please drop me a line and we can hook up.

Please join me for the ride, 2009 is going to be exciting.

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Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.