Mubaloo’s director of mobile strategy, Gemma Coles, shares her insight speaking at the launch of the European Union’s study into the EU app economy.
The recent event in Brussels offered a platform to present the findings, covered in a previous post, with the European Union delivering its vision for European growth.
After speaking at one of its discovery events in Berlin last year, we were delighted to be invited again to speak at the launch event of the findings, joining Rovio and The Factory to share a few perspectives.
Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, began the day reflecting on the rich variety of industries that are influenced by the footprint of apps.
Neelie observed that this is, “about every part of the economy, from better learning to better living”. The politician gave a rousing and inspirational speech, reaching from entrepreneurial activities through to large corporate engagement.
The major themes from Neelie’s talk included the need to boost digital skills, drive innovation and behave as a more connected continent.
On the demand for digital skills, there was a call for support at all levels, highlighting a need to modernise education for the digital age. This will be challenging but ultimately hugely rewarding, creative & fun.
A start-up manifesto was pitched as a route to drive innovation among individuals and small business owners. It’s also important for large businesses to also apply a start-up mentality in order to keep up with the market and drive innovation.
The fragmentation of European networks and the limitations of broadband when crossing borders was highlighted as a restricting factor for those seeking international business. Rules for a connected continent were pledged. Neelie’s talk presented a valuable call for all to explore the wider questions that the Gigaom study presents.
Next to present was Rovio’s Mighty Eagle and founder of Mobile Monday, Peter Vesterbacka, with a talk to inspire a little confidence & momentum among new start-ups.
“Believe you can walk on water – have courage & try to do new things, don’t fear failure.” Peter Vesterbecka
Peter quickly dispelled the idea that Rovio’s world famous app was down to luck, as a lot of less successful attempts came before. The talk presented a very open perspective on the reality of success. Developers were encouraged to keep pushing themselves, so that just like athletes, success should come with training.
Rovio has had to evolve with the times and reinvent their offering to make the most of new commercial channels, whether merchandising or the birds’ recent move into broadcasting.
Simon Schaefer, founder of The Factory, a tech incubator in Berlin was up next with an inspiring story of founding the incubator model in Berlin. Here, small start-ups are provided with an environment that drives innovation & allows individuals confidence to take on the risk of trying something new. Proximity is key to this model, fostering new working methods & collaboration.
Part of the reason that there is such a big emphasis and focus on start-ups by much of the media, is that they are the ones deemed to be trying to change the world. Often, people involved in start-ups will have worked for large companies and left after feeling frustrated when trying to drive change.
As highlighted by Neelie’s talk, it is essential that companies try to drive or enable innovation.  By doing so, they can remain competitive and introduce new ways of working or helping customers.
By Gemma Coles, Director of mobile strategy

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