If there is one fundamental shift sweeping over the technology industry, it is the current transition to mobile computing. The opportunity is immense. Apple embraced the transition early and was rewarded handsomely for it. Google also sees it. Facebook sees it. Paypal sees it. Even Yahoo sees it. But will the revolution be led from above or come from below?
My bet is on a startup. Chances are the next major technology company to join the ranks of Apple, Google, and Facebook will be a mobile-first company. And chances are that it is just now being born, which is why for my first DEMO event I am focusing on mobile. If you are a founder or product leader with a world-changing mobile product ready to launch next April 17, I encourage you to apply to DEMO Mobile. The application deadline is February 15, 2013. Scholarships are available for startups with $500,000 or less in funding. Those who want to be considered for a scholarship must apply by January 17.
Mobile marks a new era in how products and companies are built. If you are a mobile product person—a founder, designer, or product manager—this conference is for you. If you are an investor looking for the next great mobile startups, they will be onstage at DEMO Mobile. And if you are a product leader at an established company working on a stunning new mobile product, DEMO Mobile is the place to launch.
DEMO Mobile will be my first event as executive producer of DEMO. It will be a little different than most recent DEMOs. This will be a one-day conference on a single topic: mobile. The bar to get in will be higher. Only 25-30 companies will be invited to present onstage, about a third less than at a normal DEMO. And it will take place in a new location, at San Francisco’s Mission Bay Conference Center.
Some things I won’t change. The essence of DEMO will remain: there will be a laser-focus on great products and the people who create them. DEMO is a big show-and-tell. To get into DEMO Mobile you really need to be able to show us something new, and open people’s eyes to the possibilities of the post-PC world. Surprise us or delight us. It’s that simple.
We are looking for big ideas and beautiful design in the selection process: mobile apps for smartphones and tablets that break new ground and address new industries, novel mobile devices, wearable computers, robotics, and even vehicles will be considered. We are defining mobile rather broadly. It includes both hardware and software, and can target both the consumer or the enterprise.
One reason mobile is so exciting is that it brings the transformative power of software into the real world away from our desktops. While I love all the games, social networking, communications, media, and information apps built specifically for mobile, I suspect the biggest impact will be in areas just now coming into their own such as mobile commerce, health, education, transportation, workforce management, productivity, or mobile data. But surprise us. The best products get in.
The great thing about DEMO, besides all the attention your startup will receive from investors and the media, is that it a hard deadline by which you need to have a working product. For many startups and product teams, the deadline is a powerful forcing function of that gets them into the market quicker than they would otherwise. For that reason alone, if you are working on a killer mobile product, you should apply.