Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mob4Hire's 2010 Mobile Predictions

At the end of 2009, as we celebrate a year of mobile innovation and growth, we thought we'd throw our hat into the ring with some brave predictions for the industry in 2010. Next year at this time, we'll have a look back and see how we did. Thanks to all our customers, testers, and partners for making this such as great year for Mob4Hire and for crowd-sourced testing ... we're doing great things together! This list was put together by myself, Stephen King (Mob4Hire CEO), Paul Poutanen (President and Founder), and John Carpenter (CTO). On behalf of everyone at Mob4Hire, Happy Holidays and a Preposterous New Year! We'll see you in 2010!
  1. Google launches their own phone. Ok, that one is a given considering the blogosphere is buzzing with pictures of the device given out to the staff, but still, it hasn’t been officially launched in 2009. We think they'll be four Google branded handsets in market by next Christmas. Look for Google to explore it's own data network, too ... using Google Voice to provide a full phone without the need for a carrier connection
  2. Android will stall. Android will have a great start in Christmas 2009 (the Verizon Droid will do well) but will fizzle in the latter half of 2010. Two things are happening in the Android space. One: their new phone(s) will challenge their existing handset partner relationships, and certainly make any new partnerships more difficult. Two: due to it’s open architecture, splinters of Android O/S are already beginning to show up and developers will face yet another fragmented O/S (that nobody is documenting, I might add). This will make developers think twice about writing software for an increasingly expensive-to-develop-for platform that doesn't have that much worldwide penetration comparatively speaking.
  3. Get ready for lots more devices. Apple, Nokia/Microsoft and Google (via Android) and dozens of others will all make pushes into consumer connected devices like PNDs and netbooks. They will make great christmas gifts next year. Likewise Acer, Dell, Lenovo will make a push towards connected laptops and smartphones. The line between smartphones and netbooks will be increasingly smaller. More handsets creates more fragmentation as does more os’s, more device integration, more widgets, and more carrier proprietary API's all of which makes it harder for developers to create apps. By the end of 2010, we believe there will be more than 1,000,000 mobile apps that will not only target mobile handsets but mobile enabled notebooks as well. Look for very specific content opportuities; i.e. apps targetting stamp collectors or GPS assisted astronomy. We are in the long tail and the tail is getting longer.
  4. Next Christmas, it will be all about Microsoft in mobile. They will get Windows 7 right for mobile phones and offer unparalleled connection of mobile apps to desktop and Saas software/data following their success of Windows 7 for Desktop. This will be of great interest to enterprise developers who are waiting for a more tightly integrated platform into back-end office data. If they do it right, Microsoft can leverage their existing army of developers already programming in Microsoft tools. They are the only major mobile O/S that OEM's can deal with that doesn’t also compete with it’s own mobile hardware (see #1 and #2). Microsoft's renewed success will be at the expense of Sybmian, who stands to regain some share in 2011 as the low end smartphone market (Asia and Africa) heats up in 2011 and 2012, as long as they deliver on their open strategy.
  5. Palm will be acquired. Nokia (or RIM) is the likely suspect. Nokia is slumping in it’s smartphone business. Palm has got great hardware and software but won’t deliver on sales expectations due to intense competition. However, combined with Nokia’s distribution, marketing and manufacturing engine, it could easily beat iPhone and Blackberry sales worldwide. Symbian will persist as the O/S of choice for low-end phones. What of Maeomo? Kill it. I’d suggest taking the best netbook features out of Maeomo and add it to the Palm O/S to augment it’s functionality for that segment, then make Palm your flagship O/S. RIM is an outside shot at purchasing PALM, looking to bolster it's consumer product lines to further differentiate it's experience
  6. M&A in telecoms will accelerate. Smaller carriers will get consumed by mid-range and large players as they fail to meet the demand for smartphone and data infrastructure. Other networks will get so busy Application developer companies will be bought up as well as well as mobile analytic firms and infrastructure/middleware/porting plays. Watch for big players to make a move into the 4G WiMax/LTE networks.
  7. The need for a better Mobile 2.0 web experience happens WAY quicker than anyone expects. Many corporations, who are all very pleased with themselves for finally figuring out their web eCommerce strategy, are faced with a new challenge that has caught them completely unprepared: mobile websites. Many firms don’t even know what % of people are surfing to their site from mobile browsers; but I expect it is at least 10% to 20% ... and they are having a terrible user experience. This is creating a large opportunity for mobile web development consulting companies.
  8. Mobile advertising will be somewhat disappointing in 2010. There's more to be made here, but ultimately, mobile advertising is not about banner ads or adsense type click through ads. The story next year is that mobile advertising is about Apps for Advertising ... apps created by media agencies and companies to get consumers integrated in their brand experience… the ones that will be most sticky will have co-ordinated mobile app, web and traditional media marketing campaigns. This is another significant growth opportunity for developers.
  9. RIMs service woes will continue. This will impact their bottom line. Likely you will see a continued growth with the deployment of their 5.0 OS but not as much as people would hope for. Look for Nokia and Windows to make a big push into to the enterprise messaging market. Focusing on big commercial and government clients first. Even though this gives RIM two battle fronts to fight (enterprise and consumer), they’ll be up to the fight … look for some strong moves from RIM earlier in the year to get ready for it (see # 7).
  10. Apple will surprise us again. This year their iFridge will invade our kitchens.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mob4Hire wins 2 out of 5 Investor Choice Awards at Vancouver Angel Forum

Last week, we were honored to receive not one, but two, out of the five investor choice awards at the 26th Angel Forum in Vancouver: "Best Company with Revenue" and "Best Presentation." This is great recognition of the journey we've been on, the progress we've made and the opportunity that we have in front of us.

We are, of course, in the middle of raising a private round of financing. If you're interested, please contact for more details.

During the day, we were treated to several presentations, one of which focused on Investment Trends from V.C.s' and Angels in Canada. The thoughts were encapsulated nicely by Boris Wertz on the Techvibes blog. In fact, in addition to the "re-thinking" of section 118 which makes it more complex for U.S. investors to put money into Canadian, I would also add the challenge of getting B.C. investors to put money into Alberta companies: B.C. investors enjoy a 30% tax credit ... for every $1,000 they put into a B.C. high tech company, they get $300 back on their tax return. I guess that's why us Alberta companies try harder!?

The most human moment of the evening goes to Mike Volker, who won the award for BC Angel Investor of the Year ... speaking about recently departed Don Ricks. Don apparently was a shoe-in for the award ("investing $50K in over 30 startups"), but his biggest legacy was Mike's testament: "When Don was with us, he was a great Angel investor. Now, he's a great Angel."

Thanks to Bob Chaworth-Musters for organizing great day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Curse of the One Star

Mob4Hire CEO, Stephen King, spoke at the BlackBerry Developer Conference this week in San Francisco. His topic "User Feedback and It's Role in Making Great Mobile Software" was well received by the audience. CNET Blogger Jessica Dolcourt was in attendance and reflected in her post: "A single-star rating for an application on a review site or storefront can severely limit its chances of getting downloaded, and therefore of making money."
"This is the curse of the one-star," said session speaker Stephen King (not that Stephen King)
In a related article, Stephen's post on market research community site reiterates "Fear the One Star," correlating customer loyalty to mobile app revenue.

Our preliminary research shows that users are most comfortable with seeing at least 4 star ratings in mobile app stores before downloading

At the end of the day, while user feedback is important, developers shouldn't rely on paying customers to design their application architecture, especially if mistakes are prone to frustrate the user.

Testing software for crashing as well as usability BEFORE the app is released isn't just a "nice to have" ... it's vital in an increasingly crowded app marketplace where discoverability is becoming a big issue.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mob4Hire and Flurry team up for one-two punch testing and market research

We're excited to announce our new partnership with Flurry Analytics out of San Francisco:

Mob4Hire, the leading crowd-sourced mobile application testing solution, today announced an agreement that combines Flurry mobile application analytics with the Mob4hire global community of testers, making both qualitative and quantitative user behavior data easy to access in order to make mobile software better.

In other words, analytics such as the ones Flurry provides tells mobile app developers and advertisers "what" the user does in your apps. The Mob4Hire community tells them "why" they did what they did (and what else you need in your app / what can you do better?).

Sean Galligan, Flurry vice president of business development has this to say: “We are excited to partner with Mob4Hire to deliver a powerful, joint offering that helps developers improve their applications and grow their mobile business.”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mob4Hire CTO presents at Symbian SEE 2009

Mob4Hire CTO John Carpenter was in London last week at Symbian Exchange and Exposition 2009 presenting our favorite topic: User Feedback Techniques to Make Great Mobile Software.

In other words: "Don't Crash. Don't Suck. Get Sticky." :)

John says that the room was packed and the talk was well received ... a sure sign that everyone's mobile software is going to starting getting better!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mob4Hire at CTIA San Diego: "Don't Crash, Don't Suck, Get Sticky"

We're back from the CTIA Wireless show in San Diego last week. We had a GREAT time ... lots of buzz: we're the first of three innovative products from the show on an American Express blog.

Our booth was packed from beginning to end. It was great to see so much interest and "light bulbs going on over heads" as attendees realized that Mob4Hire gives the mobile community access to users for feedback during the product development cycle; "I've been waiting for a service like this for years" was an oft-heard comment!

We got a great write up in the Day 2 Show Daily of Wireless Week ... Check out page 12.

Our latest marketing gizmos ... buttons with "Don't Crash. Don't Suck. Get Sticky." were a hit ... they were almost all gone by end of day 1. Not surprisingly, the "Don't Suck" button ran out first. :)

At the conference, we were pleased to "soft-launch" our new crowd-sourced products:


All of which are still in private alpha testing (so you won't see them on our main website ... yet). You'll hear more about as we ramp up to our soon-to-be-released Version 3.0 of Mob4Hire later this fall. We received a tremendous amount of good feedback from attendees at the conference ... it was great to meet everyone! Stay tuned.

P.S. For those that asked, here's our "10 Steps of the Mobile Development Cycle" process chart that we had displayed at the booth. Click on the image to get a higher resolution chart (or, right-click and "Save as").

P.P.S. Here's the CTIA San Diego 2009 post show highlights on the CTIA Wrap up website: And, the rest of Wireless Week Daily Show Daily's:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mobile Developer's Guide to the Galaxy

I came across this little publication called "Mobile Developer's Guide to the Galaxy" at CTIA San Diego last week. It's a quick and knowledgeable read for anyone trying to understand the difference between programming for different mobile platforms. Mob4Hire got a nice mention on page 24 (thx!). Kudos to the authors Robert Virkus (Enough Software), Roland Gulle (Sevenval), Thibaut Roufiineau (WIP), Michel Shuqair (24Access Solutions) and Alexander Repty (Enough Software).

I was lucky enough to pick up a hard copy (fitting nicely in the front pocket of my dress shirt), but you can get your own .PDF version at Enough Software's website.

As Douglas Adams would say ... "So long and thanks for all the fish"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Motorola Summit rocks Android

Mob4Hire was at the Motorola Summit in San Diego last week, just before the CTIA Conference. Motorola impressed me for three reasons: the new Android CLIQ is killer kewl, their strategic focus as a company on wide Android deployment is obviously making a difference and they've embraced the developers in their developer network community (MotoDev): better tools, better processes and, if the Summit was any indiciation, a sincere comittment to working together.

We were there as a fast track partner and also felt very much a part of the community. We were in the middle of the action all day, too ... sporting our new "Mob4Hire" attire and getting feedback on the upcoming launch of our new platform, Mob4Hire V3.0.

LOVED the little touches, like chocolates, an unending assortment of drinks and treats, lotsa free CLIQs and last but not least, clay Android robots, proving once and for all that developers have unusually high creativity! And, to finish things off, we hit the top of the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego for a pool party. We met a lot of great people all throughout the day. Nice! Congrats to Motorola.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mob4Hire: Putting Apps to the Test

Andrew Berg wrote a great article about "Putting Apps to the Test" as the cover story of the Sept/Oct issue of Wireless Week; in which he looks at the difficult task of making great mobile software in a fragmented mobile ecosystem. (As u and I know, bad software = bad reviews = no word of mouth = no revenue!). Great comparison of the similarities and differences of Mob4Hire, DeviceAnywhere, and AT&T Apps Beta progam.

Another article of note in our home country of Canada:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mob4Hire turns 20,000

20,000 testers, that is. In 105 countries on 330 carriers! We had a news conference yesterday to announce it ... old school traditional media like TV and papers along with blogosphere (e.g. "Mob4Hire doubles testing community in four months" Techvibes) and Tweeting. Thanks to Calgary Technologies Inc in Calgary for hosting the event in their space ... they are doing great things for the bursting high-tech scene.

Click here for press release.

Got a nice writeup in the Calgary Herald, the local paper where we live: "mob4hire Ceo stephen King, left, and paul poutanen, president and founder, use crowd sourcing to recruit people to test applications for mobile devices such as the iphone and blackberry. Photograph by: Dean Bicknell, Calgary Herald, Calgary Herald"

Thank you to all the testers in our community who make Mob4Hire what it is; your excellent work providing testing and usability services to Mobile Developers around the world is helping make mobile software better. As you can see from our prior blogposts, we're spreading the word in the mobile developer community ... so be ready for lots more projects!

Trust in the Mob!

Stephen King,
CEO, Mob4Hire

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mob4Hire at Banff Venture Forum, CTIA San Diego and Motorola MotoDev Summit

Preparations are underway for an exciting beginning of October for Mob4Hire ... come and say hi if you're coming to any of these events!

On the 1st and 2nd, we're one of the 35 select companies who are presenting at the Banff Venture Forum.

Then, we're winging our way to CTIA Wireless I.T. and Entertainment 2009 in San Diego on Oct 7 through 9th.

Our booth # is 106, just across from the WIP booth in the Developer Pavilion. We're excited to be presenting the next generation platform of Mob4Hire!

But, before we get on the floor at CTIA, we're spending October 6th at the Motorola MotoDev Summit at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego. Motorola has been a good partner, and we're super excited to be involved as they launch their new handsets, including the Android Based Cliq.

We'll see you there (and there and there)!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Stephen King to speak at Blackberry Developer Conference

Mob4Hire CEO, Stephen King, is pleased to be selected to speak at the Blackberry Developer Conference in San Francisco on November 9-12, 2009. His session COM15 is titled "User Feedback Techniques to Make Great Mobile Software."

"69% of mobile users discover apps based on top store rankings, user reviews and recommendations from friends. Great software is your best marketing strategy. In order to make great software, you need to include user feedback in the development process, during the alpha cycle to optimize the user experience, during beta testing and post release to assess the application in real-world situations. This session will look at two software product feedback techniques: Townhalls and Customer Loyalty 2.0. Users will come away with ideas for gaining the best sources of end user impressions of their applications."

We're happy to going down to the conference with another Calgary success story,, who is the Gold Sponsor of the Blackberry Developer Conference (they've got a fantastic product, "Velocity" that allows for rapid development on the Blackberry platform).

Friday, September 4, 2009

John Carpenter from Mob4Hire to speak at "Wavefront presents NAVTEQ"

Mob4Hire's intrepid CTO, John Carpenter will be sharing the stage when Mob4Hire partners Wavefront and NAVTEQ come to Calgary to present "How to Drive Development and Visibility of Your Innovative Location Based Apps" (a.k.a. LBS apps are cool). John will be explaining how testing and deploying LBS apps differs versus standard mobile apps and requires a whole new approach.

Sept. 16, from 8:00 am to 10:30 am at the Sheraton Cavalier Calgary Hotel, Sheraton East Room, 2620 32 Ave NE, Calgary, AB. Click here to register.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Stephen King to speak at Symbian Exchange and Exposition 2009

Mob4Hire CEO, Stephen King, has been selected to speak at the Symbian Exchange and Exposition 2009 in London on Oct 27 and 28th.

Stephen draws on his 25 years of software development experience to apply traditional software user feedback techniques to mobile development. His topic "From Concept to Commercialization," is all about making great software. Great software leads to “stickiness”; increased customer loyalty to your brand (also known as "going viral"). In a world where developers have limited marketing budgets, they must rely on a great user experience so that people will tell their friends and post great reviews.

In short, you can't make great software without users!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Celebrating Wavefront's Grand Opening!

We've been a partner with Wavefront ( for awhile, and we couldn't be happier than to congratulate them on the grand opening of their new facility in Vancouver. It's a great focal point for the thriving mobile scene in Vancouver, and should be a good thing to check out in 2010 at Mobile Monday's global conference in May.

A couple great blogs popped up on the announcement regarding the Wavefront announcement (and Mob4Hire partnership):

"Wavefront is developing partnerships to address the spectrum of testing scenarios which differ for each developer based on their stage in the mobile development process," said James Maynard, President of Wavefront. "Our partnership with Mob4Hire is giving developers a way to test their mobile applications, leveraging location and language specific data."
"As part of the Wavefront community, mobile developers in B.C. can work with Mob4Hire to assess how their application performs on live operator networks during peak usage times. Although developers can access many solutions that simulate these network conditions, testing on a live network and gaining real user feedback is invaluable in determining the technical capabilities of an application," said Stephen King, CEO at Mob4Hire.

Congrats to James Maynard and his whole team on the new 7,000 sq ft. digs!

Friday, August 14, 2009

5 Million Mobile Apps by 2014

Apple iPhone app store has over 1.5 billion downloads. Android is on fire and gaining on new apps (2,300 as of March). All the big handset players, Motorola, Samsung, Sony-Ericsson, Nokia, Apple, RIM are trying to make it easier for developers to get apps to their handsets. Operating systems like Symbian and Microsoft Mobile are pushing ahead to make themselves better and easier. External data suppliers like NAVTEQ are doing very well and have their own developer communities.

A new report from Frost and Sullivan predicts the number of downloads of apps is 6.67 Billion downloads by 2014 ( I think this is conservative).

But even at this early stage of mobile apps, discoverability is a big problem. This means that it's not only the number of downloads that's interesting, but it's also the number of apps.

I saw online an interesting site recently that could make things even more interesting for mobile apps.

iLike will generate apps for bands. These iphone apps will allow bands to show their blog, band pictures and allow fans to download their music via iTunes.

Think about it… Your own personalized app available from the app store.


Apple has around 65,000 apps right now (I estimate 100,000 by the end of the year).

It is hard right now to think about not just about the number of downloads but the number of individual apps that will be available.

With services like iLike, I believe that their will be many millions of individualized apps available within the next few years.

I am going to stick my neck out here.

I believe there will be approximately 5 million individual mobile apps by 2014.

Apps will follow the rule of the Long Tail

The apps that will win will have big marketing budgets behind them and they will be excellent apps in regards to UI and usability. There will many small apps out there with niches. Those apps will rely on word-of-mouth, and the best way for that is to make an excellent mobile app.

How do you make an excellent mobile app? You need to ask people … lots of people what they think. You need to listen to people and get their feedback.

And you need to find this out before you launch the app. If you have a bad app, people will rank your app very poorly and all the work you put in will be lost. People will not download a badly ranked app. Best to find out at the alpha (pre porting stage) and Beta (post porting stage) before you launch.

I look forward to my own personal app. And I bet you do too.


P.S. BTW, we' at booth 106 at the CTIA San Diego show in October in the Developer's Pavillion ... come by and see us!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Meet Shaun ... our new Community Manager

Hi everyone:

It happens in the evolution of all successful online communities ... a person who is solely dedicated to managing the community. Answering questions. Providing resources. Helping out with recruiting. Making sure everyone feels welcome. Now that we've reached 17,000 testers and over 600+ mobile developers in the community, it's time!

We're excited to welcome Shaun King to our team as Community Manager. Email if you want to say hi! Shaun's got a background in both computer science as well as business and marketing.

In addition to all the above, he'll also be reviewing Test Plans posted by Developers to help them get the best results, and generally making the community run smoothly.

Welcome to the Mob, Shaun!

Exciting things happening for Mob4Hire this fall; we're hard at work this summer! Stay tuned ...


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mob4Hire Collaborates with NAVTEQ to Help Mobile Developers Test LBS Applications

Wow ... it's been a little while since our last blog post. Just indicative of us being super busy with a number of projects; there's lots of great news for you Mobsters coming, including new features, new partnerships and new ... stuff. Thanks for being part of the Mob ... we had a record June for test projects with a wide range of functionality testing (VOIP testing seems to be popular ...).

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about latest partnership agreement with NAVTEQ. They do a great job with LBS developers, and a relationship with Mob4Hire is a natural fit. Thanks to everyone at NAVTEQ ... awesome team to work with. You can read the whole announcement at:

Ok ... 'nuff said for now. I hope you're enjoying your summer and stay tuned for some exciting announcements.


P.S. BTW, we' at booth 106 at the CTIA San Diego show in October in the Developer's Pavillion ... come by and see us!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mob4Hire Selected to Present at Global Tech Showcase 2009

We're priveledged to have been selected and confirmed to participate to the Global Tech Showcase (GTS 2009, being held in conjunction with the World Investment Conference in La Baule, France, June 3th to June 5th 2009.

Mob4Hire is one of the 50 companies chosen to be showcased in this corporate matchmaking conference where we'll be meeting with Europe's top operators, partners, investors and clients.

Chantelle Hyde-Lewis, Mob4Hire's Director, Business Development, UK&EMEA will be demonstrating how integrating the customer into their mobile developer partners' development cycles is helping Telefonica division, O2, bring better mobile applications to market with their O2 Litmus community.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mob4Hire joins Twitter as one of the Red Herring 100 top technology firms!

Wow ... we won a Red Herring 100 award in San Diego on Wednesday! Knowing that Twitter is on the same list as us this year is a wonderful accomplishment, and is great recognition for the progress we've made at Mob4Hire. Thanks, Red Herring judges!

Read more:

What do we think separated Mob4Hire from the other 1200 applicants?

"I think that we have an elegant solution to a large problem in a massive industry. There is really no one else doing what we do in the same way. There are 3 billion mobile phones in use today and a massive amount of software being written for those handsets. The problem of fragmentation in the mobile industry is huge - currently estimated at $3 billion. There is no effective way to test on a foreign network unless you are on that network. It is a location specific problem which plays perfectly to the strengths of our crowd-sourced methodology." says Paul Poutanen, President and Founder of Mob4Hire (pictured here with Alex Vieux, CEO, Red Herring).

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mob4Hire selected as Finalist for Red Herring top 100

The industry recognition keeps on happening; we've just been named as a finalist for the Red Herring North America award ... "a prestigious list honoring the year’s most promising private technology ventures in North America." The Red Herring editorial team selected the most innovative companies from a pool of 1,200, so we're already very honoured to make that cut! Paul Poutanen (prez and founder of Mob4Hire) will be in San Diego next week presenting at the Red Herring event.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

O2 Litmus Testing Community is live!

We couldn't be more thrilled to be a partner with O2 Litmus (subsidiary of Telefonica) ... our Mob4Hire testing community is now incorporated into the main site (our part is in the "Application" area, where people can test and purchase beta applications):

O2 Litmus Video Tour from O2 Litmus on Vimeo.

Apart from having a great customer like O2, the thing I love about this project is that we were able to utilize web API's to completely maintain O2's branding while running on "Mob4Hire as a Platform."

“O2 Litmus ground breaking partnership with multi-award winning Mob4hire” 

O2 Litmus press release:

“O2 Litmus is Better than Apple AppStore!”

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Commercialization Challenges of Software Development in a Fragmented Mobile Ecosystem

I had the privilege of speaking at the WiTec Connections 2009 conference in Banff Alberta last week. Great conference ... and while like most I've been to lately where the attendance is a bit down, there is still great conversations, optimism and business being done.

My topic was one that's near and dear to our hearts here at Mob4Hire: how hard it is to develop mobile software due to the fragmented ecosystem (and, of course, how Mob4Hire makes it easier and less expensive!). Many people asked for a copy, so I'm happy to upload and share it.

I was also on a panel with some very smart and animated people ... a shout out to: Perry Kinkaide, President Alberta Council of Technologies, Harold Horgen, President, The York Group, Kevin Wong, LL.B. at; experts at SRED credits, and Steve Morley, former VP, Qualcomm. Thanks for the great discussion, guys!

Chantelle Hyde-Lewis joins Mob4Hire as Director, Business Development, UK and EMEA

I'm really excited to welcome Chantelle Hyde-Lewis to our team, based in the U.K. She has a unique understanding of what Mob4Hire can do for developer networks and app stores; not only has she been in the industry for a long time, but while working for the operator O2, she helped spearhead the O2 Litmus developer community / app store.

As we mention in the press release, she helped negotiate our contract with O2, and liked us so much she joined the company.

Chantelle joins Allen Poutanen, our VP Business Development, in helping developer networks and app stores use "Mob4Hire as a Platform" to create their own branded testing communities, which in turn helps their developers bring better mobile software to market!

Welcome Chantelle!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Gamelion joins Mob4Hire as a "MobPro"

One more announcement as we head down to CTIA Las Vegas!

One of the great things about the Mob4Hire testing community is that it includes both tech-savvy mobile phone users (who we affectionately call "Mobsters") as well as professional testing houses ("MobPro's"). Professional testing houses include companies who's primary focus is mobile testing as well as other mobile developers who have large inventories of mobile handsets that can be used to generate an additional revenue stream in their "off time." MobPro's typically have deeper functional testing expertise, since they've developed in-house processes and reporting.

Such is the case of our latest press release: Mob4Hire Signs Mobile Testing Marketing Deal with Gamelion.

Anton Gauffin, CEO of Gamelion told us that "Mob4Hire acts as a marketing arm for our mobile testing services while increasing our return on investment with this large, but depreciating capital asset, but the real winner will be the mobile developer who will be able to access quality testing services faster and less expensively."

In fact, the addition of Gamelion's handsets to the Mob4Hire database greatly expands European coverage of The Mob: there's now more than 8,000 handsets on over 250 carriers in over 90 countries to choose from!

Welcome to Anton and the team at Gamelion!

We'll be at CTIA Las Vegas all this week, starting at the AT&T Developer Summit: "Addressing Platform Diversity & Tackling Fragmentation" ... a topic that is near and dear to our hearts, since we help solve for this fragmentation with the Mob4Hire community!

Email us at if you're attending CTIA and want to meet up. Viva Las Vegas!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mob4Hire and Wavefront join forces to "accelerate commercialization"

The world just got a little smaller for developers registered with Wavefront! We're really pleased to announce our partnership with Wavefront ( out of Vancouver, B.C. Their mantra is ""Accelerating commercialization of wireless products and services," and as James Maynard, CEO and I have discussed, he not only views Wavefront's mission as helping the 1,000 or so local mobile developers compete on a global scale, but Wavefront also serves as a great entry point for the rest of the world to access North America.

The Wavefront team is awesome to work with and certainly share our passion in helping mobile developers make sense of the fragmented mobile landscape. With over 8,000 handsets now in 90+ countries, we offer the developers registered with Wavefront immediate access to markets and user feedback that was previously inaccessible. That's exciting stuff!

We're headed to CTIA Las Vegas next week ... see you there!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mobile Apps Take Centre Stage at Dow Jones Wireless Innovation

Panel at Dow Jones Wireless Innovation I spent the last two days at the Dow Jones Wireless Innovation event in Redwood City, CA. You can read my insights at, where I also blog about the grassroots technology industry (and currently focusing on mobile, go figure).

For Mob4Hire, the impact that this industry transformation from new subscribers / handsets to applications / usability has on mobile developers is nothing short of "being in the right place at the right time."

Using Mob4Hire, mobile app developers not only get functional testing, especially in difficult areas like LBS applications, but also usability testing ... getting user feedback to help create much better software in the prototype, alpha and beta stages of mobile development. In fact, when you think about it, mobile developers have historically been held at arm's length from the customer. Selling through aggregators and carriers has created this barrier. Mob4Hire helps bring down the garden wall ... and, in the end, carriers win because with better applications, they create more customer advocacy / loyalty leading to increased word of mouth. U know what this does, right? Decreases carrier churn ... which is their primary concern.

Monday, March 2, 2009

BNetTV Mob4Hire update

Two videos for you to check out ... the first is my Mob4Hire update from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

As many of you know, I also blog for on the grassroots tech industry in Western Canada.

Since BNetTV has roots in Calgary, I turned the tables on Michelle Sklar and interviewed her about BNetTV's phenominal success. Click here for my Techvibes post and Michelle's interview: "BNetTV Reports from Mobile World Congress"

For BNetTV's complete coverage ~250 companies at Mobile World Congress, click here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WiTec Networking Breakfast and WiTec Connections 2009

Along with Roger Morrison and Henry Katurna, I've got the pleasure to speak at the WiTec Networking Breakfast at the Ranchmen's Club in Calgary from 7:30 am to 9:30 am on March 6. Only $25 (if you're a member, $35 if not, and well worth it for the local networking). My topic: "Five Rules of Business Development from a Serial Entrepreneur." Click here for full event details. Click here to go directly to registration.

Speaking of speaking, I'm also gearing up to present at the annual WiTec Connections 2009 conference at the luxurious Banff Springs Hotel on April 16th and 17th. This is a must attend event for the Western Canada wireless industry, and is shaping up to be two great days of jam packed agenda. Fresh with leading edge information from MWC Barcelona, my topic is near and dear to my heart: "Commercialization Challenges of Developing Applications in a Fragmented Mobile Ecosystem." Click here for the WiTec Connections website and registration.

If you're not from these parts or don't know, "WiTec Alberta is an industry association focused on supporting the Wireless & Telecom industry in the Province of Alberta." Here's the main WiTec site:

Monday, February 23, 2009

GSMA MWC Barcelona a Mob4Hire Success!

Wow ... what a great week at GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona 2009. I think I'm finally coming out of jet lag!

I wanted to give you some highlights of the week for us:

- O2 Litmus announced their Appstore and our Mob4Hire partnership: "O2 Litmus users will have the opportunity to earn hard cash for every application they test, via a ground breaking partnership with multi award winning Mob4Hire." It came in with rave reviews; e.g. "O2 Litmus is Better than Apple AppStore" We couldn't be more excited to be involved! We hung out with the O2 Litmus team, and also spent time with them at the Telefonica offices in Barcelona.

- We presented three times to about 1,500 people from a cross-section of the mobile industry: Paul spoke at the Mobile Monday Peer Awards (in which we won second place!). This resulted in blog buzz ... e.g.: I spoke at the GSMA Top Innovator award competition and the TechCrunch Mobile 2.0 wrap-up seminar (

- Had great meetings with potential pMobile Peer Awards Barcelona 2009artners and developer network customers! There is great emphasis on app stores and developer networks in the industry as applications become the new focus so we're pretty happy with the industries response to us!

- Had great Tapas, mucho Cafe con leche's, toured La Ramblas and the Sagrada Familia, which was awe inspiring! Made me think about putting passion into whatever you create in life.

- I sang/played guitar at a "MobileJamaoke" at the WIP ( MobileJam pre-party in which people came up on stage to sing songs and play guitar ... that's me playing "free-falling" with the team from Symbian Foundation. At one point, the whole Mob4Hire team was up ... too much fun! There were also a wicked flamenco 3 piece band that I got to play with / listen to. Si!

- On the downside, our VP Business Development, Allen Poutanen, sprained his ankle, lost his cellphone and got his wallet stolen on the subway! Sorry, Allen!

As a last point, I want to tell you a handset comparison story. Paul has an iPhone and I have a Blackberry Bold. We used the mobiles equally over the week, not many voice calls, and lotsa data. The roaming charges for Paul's iPhone were 630% MORE than my Blackberry Bold ... due to Blackberry's data compression. ANOTHER reason I love my Blackberry handset! (Although admitedly, I did play a lot of "Zombie Attack" on Paul's iPhone).

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mob4Hire chosen to present at Dow Jones Wireless Innovation 2009

We've been chosen to present at the Dow Jones Wireless Innovation 2009 conference on March 17th and 18th in Redwood City, CA. Check out their website:
To help both VCs and entrepreneurs get a view of the innovations and opportunities that will emerge in 2009 and beyond, Dow Jones VentureWire has put together an impressive group of speakers, including individuals from such carriers as Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile, CEOs from 70 of the most promising mobile start-ups and, of course, some of the leading investors in the sector.
Based on our involvement at the Mobile 2.0 conference and Under the Radar in late fall, 2008, it will be interesting to see if the group has a more global understanding of the environment. It's easy for people to see the world through their regional lens (including some I've spoken to in Silicon Valley) and assess opportunities based on their own experience, but this mobile industry is glaringly global ... innovation and opportunity is happening everywhere!

Friday, February 6, 2009

John Carpenter Appointed CTO of Mob4Hire

Calgary, Alberta (PRWEB) February 6, 2009 -- Mob4Hire Inc., the leader in crowd sourced mobile application testing and virtual market research, today announced the appointment of John Carpenter as it's Chief Technology Officer.

We're super excited to be expanding our technical expertise. With this announcement, Richard Cooke is taking over VP, Technology responsibilities and will continue to develop leading edge technology from our U.K. office, including all the work we've been doing to get ready for the O2 Litmus Developer Network launch ... which is happening in March! Kudo's to Richard for all the great work he's done over the last year or so getting Mob4Hire up and running ... and I'm excited to see what the combined technical leadership of John and Richard will mean for our customers going forward.

The best is yet to come!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Mob4Hire competes for Mobile Monday Peer Award

Barcelona, Spain—January 26, 2009—Mobile Monday Peer Awards announced that Mob4Hire is one of the twenty nominees to present and compete at the Peer Awards event in Barcelona. The MobileMonday Mobile Peer Awards Barcelona are among the most influential events in the mobile industry and, with over 1000 attendants, the point of reference in startup innovation during the Mobile World Congress. 163 startups participated and 42 nominees were selected by their respective chapters. Mob4Hire was selected as one of the 20 finalists to present by an international Jury.

Ok ... double WOW!!! Between this and the GSM Top Innovator award, we're gonna have a great (if not intense!) time in Barcelona.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mob4Hire one of GSMA Mobile Innovation Global Award Top Innovators

Barcelona, Spain—January 22, 2009—The GSMA Mobile Innovation Global Awards today announced that Mob4Hire is one of the top three "Most Innovative True Mobile Startup" companies. The Global Awards recognize excellence and showcases innovation by providing innovators the opportunity to be endorsed by the GSMA.

Wow ... we are one of the top 15 winners out of 450 global entrants! This is really a good thing for us ... in addition to amazing exposure, we also get some great benefits: a booth in the "Innovation Zone" (IZ4 to be exact). "SpeedDating" conference with execs from big firms and VCs. Lotsa fun!

Stay tuned ... see you in Spain.

Friday, January 16, 2009

"Someone to Watch"

This is a bit self-serving, but it's always nice when one is recognized in their industry. Mob4Hire is an international company (did I mention our community includes testers in 85 countries as of this morning?) ... but I also feel it's important to contribute to the regional grassroots tech industry (with things like co-founding Mobile Monday Calgary, writing blogs, attending DemoCamp's and CTI events) ... which raises tech's profile. This is especially important since we are based in Calgary, Canada, which is also home to the Oil and Gas industry and tech sometimes is drowned in the sea of billion dollar oil deals (or today's price of a barrel of oil!).

Of course, the work I do also raises my profile, and stuff like this happens. Anyway, according to TechVibes, I'm a Digital Media person to watch in 2009:

... which, frankly, is kinda cool since there are so many talented and smart people around here. A shout out to the Alberta tech industry! (and the global mobile industry, too, while I'm at it!)


P.S. See you at in Vancouver on Monday, January 19th ... and excited for GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February! (stay tuned for news about Mob4Hire next week about an exciting award that we've won ...)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mob4Hire one of top 10 Calgary startups

We've had an amazing last few months at Mob4Hire with increased traffic to our site ... thanks to everyone that's visiting us! This traffic has placed us at #8 on the TechVibes Calgary Startup Index, up 3 spots from last month's index listing. We're super happy to be sharing the top 10 with Calgary superstars like, Cambrian House, Shopster and ActiveConversion.

This has resulted in explosive growth in our global mobile tester and developer community. As of this morning, we have over 1,800 different handsets registered in 84 countries on over 211 carriers; for comparison, in October, there were 1,200 handsets in 42 countries on 107 carriers. Wow ... that's double the # of countries and carriers in just two months.

Thanks again, everyone! 2009 is the Year of the Mob!