Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mob4Hire Spiffy Award Nomination Rounds Out a Great 2010!

We were pleasantly surprised last week to be named one of the finalists for a Spiffy award from the Telecom Council of Silicon Valley (Love the award name!): San Andreas Award for Most Disruptive Technology

This is icing on the cake after an incredible 2010. With our v4.0 platform release in April, our business turned a corner ... well, many corners to be exact. We ran hundreds of projects for mobile developers and brands around the world, and most recently in November, announced Mob4Hire v4.5 with the expansion of our mobile product line for brands entering the mobile space.

I ESPECIALLY love what we're doing in mobile usability, as it's recognized as world-class leadership in this leading edge space. For mobile app creators, it's become increasingly hard to get noticed, so GREAT mobile usability is a must ... and our tools not only help you get a GREAT mobile app, but we can also guarantee you'll receive four or five stars in the app stores once you release and iterate your product. Good stuff.

With great respect and sincerity, I give MANY THANKS and Holiday Wishes to the Mob4Hire team, our customers, our investors, our partners, and of course, our spouses and families who, along with us, live and breath the roller coaster ride of being a successful global startup.

Peace and Joy to all.

Stephen King

P.S. 2011? It's going to be an AMAZING year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Wrap-up: Review of last year's Mob4Hire predictions

We hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season, and like many others, want to pause to reflect on the bigger trends in the industry that reveal the opportunities and challenges for all of us that are on the leading edge of the mobile revolution.

As we reflect on the barn-stormer of a year that 2010 was, we’d like to shout out a BIG BIG thanks to all our customers, mobsters, partners and investors for making this such as great year for Mob4Hire. Mob4Hire has morphed from a mobile testing company to a full-featured mobile usability and market research community, serving not only mobile developers, but product and brand managers as well as ad agencies. We’re very proud of our role in helping to bring excellent mobile experiences to users around the world.

We'll unveil our 2011 predictions in the next couple of days. For now, let’s see our report card for how we did on last year’s predictions (overall B+, we think!):

Google launches their own phone. In January 2010, Google released the Nexus. Now, they have a Nexus S. We thought, however, that this would turn into a new significant product line and therefore would be seen as competitive to their current partners HTC, Samsung, Motorola, etc… It turns out the manufacturers don’t care, and embraced Android in a tremendous year of growth for the platform.

Android will stall. Yah, well, we got this one wrong. We were right (like many others) that there would be wide spread adoption, but would see difficulties in the latter half of their year because of the anticipated fragmentation of the Android O/S making it difficult for developers to maintain code across different handsets and carriers. We also thought other handset manufacturer would NOT choose the platform because Google was introduced their own competitive handsets (see #1 above) … the opposite came true, and many handset mftrs and telecoms have adopted Android. Thus, fragmentation has become an even bigger issue for Android developers, but it has not slowed the enthusiasm for the platform. Finally, we also thought Windows Phone would be released earlier and have a bigger impact on 2010 ... the future is still bright for Microsoft, we think (as you'll see in our 2011 predictions), but Android was the platform story in 2010.

Get ready for lots more devices. PNDs, Netbooks, Tablets, TV's, M2M devices, u name it … they all appeared on the scene in 2010.

By Christmas, 2010, it will be all about Microsoft in mobile. As we thought, they got Windows 7 right for mobile phones. They released late in the year, and while the numbers aren’t in for Q4, 2010 yet, they made a great debut with their advertising position and technology. However, Microsoft did not affect Android penetration as much as we thought, and will have a hard time gaining marketshare, so we’re giving ourselves a B+ on this one.

Palm will be acquired. We thought Nokia or RIM would be the most obvious. HP was the acquirer.

M&A in telecoms will accelerate. Global M&A in telecoms has been sliding every year since 2005, but 2010 saw a turning point. According to The New York Times, M&A in Telecoms will be up 50% in 2010 over 2009.

The need for a better Mobile 2.0 web experience happens WAY quicker than anyone expects. Apps are playing an important part in the way brands and companies relate to their customers. And, with the explosion of app stores, this seems to be the primary channel to get discovered. Mobile 2.0 web is still important, but apps are leading the way. HTML5 created a buzz, and will drive the urgency to mobile web over the next few years.

Mobile advertising will be somewhat disappointing in 2010. 2010 will be remembered as the year brands tried out many types of mobile advertising (QR codes, SMS campaigns, AdMob banner ad click-through campaigns, apps and mobile web). Brands have had varying success with all types, and much has been discovered about the potential of mobile ad / appvertising. And, while there were successes, the web and traditional media still play a more important part of advertising spends. The best is yet to come for mobile (and it's also inevitable).

RIMs service woes will continue. The late 2009 event of RIM’s Messenger brown-out was quickly forgotten and not repeated. We were dead wrong on this one.

Apple will surprise us again. With tongue-in-cheek, we predicted an iFridge would invade our kitchens. They didn’t do that, but they did pretty well everything else and their stock price soared because of their vision. Next will be the iKitchenSink.

So, what will happen in 2011? Stay tuned ... we'll post our thoughts soon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

iPad Winner announced from Mob4Hire Mobile Developer Survey

We just completed running a MobSurvey project that was looking to get opinions from Mobile Developers. Our client, a global marketing leader, was interested in the mobile applications development community's opinion on a wide range of topics related to Developer Networks and specifically, related to developers who have done work with U.S. Carriers.

It was very successful. We're super happy with the results and so is our customer. Makes us very proud to be part of the mobile industry ... 'cause it's not a bunch of faceless companies out there ... there's real people working real hard, so ... THANKS to everyone that completed it and took time out of their day to promote it (u know who you are).

The winner of the iPad is :

Rob Oshima from GameStop / Kongregate. (where there are currently 39,671 users online playing 35,836 free games!).

Congrats, Rob.

On a related note, it's interesting how many companies are (finally) look at asking Mobile Users questions about their software development ... doing some market and usability research. WHICH IS A GREAT IDEA!

Why? With over 400,000 mobile apps out there, more than 100 app stores, and more than 100 developer networks available to join, it's very important to understand your customers BEFORE you spend a bunch of money developing apps, websites, corporate programs or whatever. That's where Mob4Hire comes in.

The danger of not understanding your customers it that you'll end up creating something, but it may be a something that your targeted users don't care about!

THAT'S WHY we've created user feedback tools for every step of the development cycle: "From Concept to Commericialization":

1) Use MOBSURVEY to figure out what to make. How do users view your brand? How can you best take advantage of mobile?

2) Use MOBEXPERIENCE to test your alpha builds. We can help you focus on making killer features that users actually care about.

3) Use MOBTEST to test your beta builds. Does it work on all handsets and in all carriers/countries you are targeting?

4) Use MOBACCELERATOR to gather post release feedback. What resonates with users? Is your marketing working? How is discovery of your app?

Get the full "Ten Steps of the Mobile Development Cycle" here in .PDF format.

Hope everything is going good for you!


Stephen King

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

With release 4.5, Mob4Hire expands line of mobile usability products

Great big things are afoot with the MobTeam!

As of this morning, version 4.5 of the Mob4Hire went live across the network. The release of this version marks another big step in the Mob4Hire story. We've made a number of exciting changes to the site that will make the process of mobile crowdsource testing and market research a whole lot easier.

First, we made a number of big changes to Mob4Hire infrastructure. A faster site means a better experience for everyone. We have finished the migration over the the Amazon AWS servers and started to use the cluster for managing our growth. What this means is that more servers will automatically become available according to our demand. This means more capacity for running tests but more importantly it gives us a much better fault-tolerant and scalable system.

Second, we are launching 6 new products with this release. MOBTESTSUITE, MOBSTAR Certified, MOBSIMTEST, MOBSMSTEST, MOBA/BTEST and MOBTASKS join our four other services to round out the Mob4Hire catalog. You can get the details for these services here along with the rest of the Mob4Hire products. These additional services give developers a greater scope of testing they can perform and give our Mobsters a bigger chance to get more involved. Look forward to more information about each of these services in the very near term. The new services are a great extension of the power of the mobile crowd and can really help out in reducing the cost and effort of doing it yourself.

Finally, and probably the most exciting part is all Mob4Hire projects will now include dedicated Project Manager to guide you along with your testing. The Project Manager is an expert in both executing projects and managing the crowd, so developers will be able to leverage that experience to get their projects done faster and often at a lower cost. This means developers can focus on being experts in their field and we can help by being experts in ours!

We look forward to all of your feedback on the new site and the new products.

Trust the Mob

John Carpenter, CTO.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mob4Hire Launches MOBSTAR CERTIFIED Program to Guarantee Mobile App and Website Quality

Wow ... talk about coming out with a timely message. During CTIA Wireless in San Francisco, we announced our new service, the MOBSTAR CERTIFIED program to great acclaim. See full press release here.
I was talking to one of our customers yesterday ... they told us that after putting their app through a MobExperience research study (and making recommended changes), they got accepted by the Apple iPhone App Store ON THEIR FIRST TRY. The best praise we get is when we help you succeed. Contact us to ask for a quote.
Having the MOBSTAR CERTIFIED logo on a mobile product or service means that it is a high-quality premium product with exceptional growth potential. A MOBSTAR rating reflects the users’ overall loyalty toward the how a business’s app or web mobile experience. Specifically, the MOBSTAR rating indicates how much people will recommend it, what they will say about it … all of which leads to more downloads from repeat business / word-of-mouth through viral and social media.

A MobStar rating is no different than the 5-star rating system found in most app stores (accompanied with twitter-length comment fields that sometimes say "This sucks!") ... except that it's not public, and more importantly, in our survey, it's correlated with other customer satisfaction/loyalty questions as well as 7 software dimensions such as Stability, Install / Launch, User Interface, Language etc...

The MobStar rating comes as part of both our MobExperience and MobAccelerator products.
MobExperience: Pre-release usability and user experience study that helps mobile firms and media publishers make great mobile apps and websites

When doing a mobile usability study, there is only one goal. How do you make an app that will get four or five stars in an app store? If you don't, no one will download it.

But, within that one goal, there are two important dimensions:

1) What do we need to improve in the software that REALLY matters to users?
2) Of ALL the stuff in the software, what's most important for our marketing messages?

Thanks for being part of the Mob,

Stephen King, CEO

Mob4Hire Appoints Laura Sullivan as VP, Operations

We are very pleased to welcome Laura Sullivan to the "MobSquad" team as VP, Operations.

“It’s vital that we grow our management capabilities to help drive Mob4Hire’s accelerating international growth,” states Stephen King, CEO of Mob4Hire. “Laura is a world-class management consultant; we’re very lucky to have her deep experience, knowledge of the local tech economy / government relations, and startup expertise. She’s a great compliment to the rest of the management team.”

Since 2008, as a Program Manager at Calgary Technologies Inc., Laura has provided coaching and mentoring services to almost 100 early stage technology companies, helping them access $ Ms in funding and development.

Laura brings broad experience in operations, finance, project and risk management, in a number of industries including Manufacturing, ICT, Retail and Health. As a Management Consultant, Laura’s clients included TransCanada Pipelines Ltd., Calgary Health Region, Bethany Care Foundation, C-mach Technologies, FoundPages and ITSportsNet. Laura’s experience in governance and advisory includes being a Director, and Chair of the Audit Committee of a $1B retail organization, Calgary Co-operative Association Ltd., as well as sitting on a number of advisory boards including the Operations Management Advisory Council for BC Institute of Technology, and International Business Advisory Council for University of Calgary. Laura currently provides governance training as part of the Alberta Board Development Program.
“Mob4Hire is an exciting global company with limitless potential,” says Sullivan. “As a micro-multinational, establishing cloud-based operations is essential to scaling as we serve customers from 84 different countries. I’m looking forward to turning my focus solely to Mob4Hire’s success.”
Here's the press release:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mob4Hire recognized by TechRev as a top 10 Innovator

We were pleasantly surprised last night when our name was announced at the annual TechRev awards here in Calgary. The top 10 awards were presented to the following companies:
  • Computer Modelling Group Ltd.
  • Ice Edge Business Solutions'
  • Multiplied Media Inc. (Poynt Mobile app)
  • Psyko Audio Labs
  • Sustainable Energy Technologies Inc.
  • Mob4Hire
  • Benevity Social Ventures
  • Wedge Networks
  • Userful Corporation
  • Genesis Technical Systems
More details can be found here on the TechRev site. And, our "Success Story" can be found here.

TechRev is an initiative founded by Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, Calgary Economic Development, and Calgary Technologies Inc. with a mandate to increase awareness of and investment activity in the technology sector in the Calgary region.

The second year of the awards, there were 304 companies competing, and we were shortlisted for the 25 that were looking for one of the top 10 awards. That was honour enough, actually ... the list of 25 companies is extremely impressive, and certainly shows the breadth and depth of the local tech community. Which, as I always say, is swimming in a sea of oil and gas here in Calgary, and often doesn't get the exposure it should.

TechRev aims to help change that, and these awards have become coveted for that reason. So, for us to be awarded one is a great honour, certainly comparable to all our global awards like our Meffys Award in London, our Red Herring 100 award out of San Diego, Under the Radar in Mountainview and various others from Barcelona and Toronto and such. Despite global success, it's good to be recognized in your home town.

I know many of the smart and hard working people in the winning companies ... Congratulations everyone!

Stephen King
CEO, Mob4hire

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mob4Hire announces 50,000 tester milestone and new Version 4.2

We're pretty excited around the halls of Mob4Hire these days. Not only has our community exceeded the milestone of 50,000 people (from 152 countries!), but we've just released Mob4Hire version 4.2, which has a bunch of new features that makes it easier than ever to get crowd-sourced mobile functional and usability testing done.

Here's the official press release:

First of all, SUPER BIG HAPPY THANKS to all of the testers (a.k.a. "Mobsters") who complete tests. We've seen a great increase in the number of projects in the system and it's you who are doing the tests and helping developers get better software to market. We've paid out thousands of dollars to Mobsters over the last few months, with people making between $20 and $50 depending on the the type of test, location etc... Stay tuned, because there's lots more to come!

And, secondly, thanks to all of our customers. There's more than 1,600 registered mobile developers and market researchers in the Mob4Hire community, and we appreciate that you've put your trust in us to help make your software better.

Finally, thanks to our partners: NAVTEQ, Motorola Motodev, Nokia.Forum, Samsung, Blackberry amongst others ... your support of Mob4Hire and dedication to making developers lives easier is appreciated!

I should note that the following features are part of our V4.2 launch. Enjoy!

1) Mandatory Handset Identification. The Mob4Hire platform automatically streamlines matching the project requirements of attributes such as handset types, network operator and countries.

2) CrowdFlow Project Management Tool. Mob4Hire has simplified the process of managing a large group of testers and survey respondents; from recruiting testers when starting a project all the way to paying Mobsters for their work when the successful results are returned to the developer.

3) Project Walls. Much of the crowd-source mobile testing process is collaborative and requires conversation between the collaborators. The new Project Walls allow for both private discussions and public discussions between app developers and Mobsters.

4) Facebook Connect. This feature has been enhanced to allow for more automatic connectivity that is allowed from the Facebook API

5) Internal admin. Architecturally, the new Mob4Hire platforms offers much better double-entry accounting and audit tools for its eCommerce micro-payment technology, MAAP (Mob4Hire as a Platform).

6) Automated tools. Mob4Hire has responded to customer feedback by including admin and automated tools like project reminders and social networking project sharing to help speed up the testing process, as well as to ensure higher quality results.

Trust in the Mob!

Stephen King, CEO

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mob4Hire Awards $1000 to Winner of Over-The-Air Hackathon in London ... Good job everyone!

Over The Air(By Richard Cooke, Mob4Hire VP Technology ... pictured far right)

I had the honour of representing Mob4Hire at the Over The Air 2010. The event was fantastic, with the highlight for many an appearance by the legendary Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

For me though, the highlight was the Hackathon competition for which over 20 teams stayed up all night creating mobile applications. The quality of the entries was simply stunning.

Mob4Hire presented a prize of $1000 worth of free mobile app usability testing to the app deemed ‘best-in-show’ and I therefore had the difficult task of helping judge the entries alongside representatives from many of the major carriers and device manufacturers. We deliberated long and hard, but eventually we had to come up with a decision as the cleaners were waiting to move in.

Best in Show was awarded unanimously to a team dubbed ‘The Ben Collins Appreciation Society’ for their application ‘First Gear’.

This was a team headed up by Ewan Spence, ably assisted by his team: Simon Maddox; Sam Machin; Rachel Clarke, Robert Lee-Cann; Karl Turner.

The demonstration was a complete tour de force, overrunning enormously although nobody minded. The team had hacked together an iPhone and Android interface using accelerometers to remotely control a couple of RC cars and, most notably, a quadricopter known as ‘The Parrot’. They had also implemented Paypal APIs so that they could charge people for playing with the toys and, reputedly, make extra charges any time somebody crashed the car. Here it is in action:

A full list of winners can be found here at the OTA site:

Some of my notable favorites were:

Audience choice: Lobster – Light Blue
A little London-centric this one (as was the audience). With this app on your iPhone you can ride on London buses for free since it emulates the ubiquitous Oyster card.

Best Android App: FindMyMates – Paul Johnston
An ambitious app combining location data from FourSquare with the camera API to pinpoint friends in a crowded room. This was my personal favourite and, although not quite finished when demonstrated I would like to see more of it.

The Most Useful: BlueBabelTextFish – Sam Machin
Using the Google Translation API and #Blue this application was able to translate incoming SMS messages from any supported language into English.

Best Hardware Hack: The Eyes Have It – Adam Cohen-Rose
Adam demonstrated an unholy marriage of a Lego Mindstorms Robot and an iPhone which implemented face recognition. The robot fixated on a face and then followed it, rather in the manner of a newly born duckling. Truly awesome.

Best use of Open APIs and Open Data : UK Traffic- Dale Lane
A mashup of google maps with some publicly available but currently less than useful traffic data to show traffic information on top of mobile GMaps.

I look forward to seeing the source from some of these projects. I think we could all learn a lot. Well done to everyone that took part.

- Richard

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mob4Hire wins Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) Meffys Award

The summer has been so busy that we forgot to blog about this significant award we won in London ... a Meffys Award!

We were in the Innovative Business Model category, and we're happy the judges from 45 countries saw the value in what we do. For content publishers and developers, we save from 65% to 90% off functional and usability testing costs while at the same time helping to produce apps and content that will be more successful and viral when released. For our Mobsters in the community, they make between $20 and $50 an hour for their work. And, for us, we are a broker, earning a transaction fee on helping put the community together with state-of-the-art collaborative tools.

The Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) unveiled the winners of this year’s coveted Meffys awards at a sold-out gala dinner in London. The Meffys, supported by Dolby, Buongiorno, Symbian, 7digital, MTS, Quickplay Media and Vodafone seek to honour the most influential players in the mobile entertainment industry from across the world.

Rimma Perelmuter, MEF's Executive Director, said
"Congratulations to Mob4Hire for its Crowd-Sourced Mobile Testing which demonstrates the importance of understanding mobile user experience and behaviours before launching new applications.

MEF is proud to celebrate a diverse $36 billion mobile media industry which continues to innovate and thrive. This year’s Meffys winners highlight the industry’s true coming of age with an array of content-focused applications, cross-platform media and mobile commerce offerings. The Meffys have become the global standard for measuring success and serve as a window to the industry’s future."
The winning entries of the seventh annual awards once again provided an insight into the wide range of innovative products, services, applications and projects which are shaping and defining the evolution of the mobile media industry.

Thanks to everyone involved at MEF and the Meffys Awards for your recognition of our hard work! For more information, see the Meffys website:

Winners of some of the other categories include CBS Mobile, Motally, Taptu, Popcap, Shazam and Zed Group.

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Report "Impact of Mobile on Network Operators" illustrates cost-effective global mobile market research tools

When doing market research with Mob4Hire, I can't think of ANYWHERE you can get this kind of high-quality global access to mobile users with respect to SPEED OF RESULTS and INEXPENSIVE COST OF PANEL SAMPLE.

Want to run your own survey? Contact

In collaboration with Dr. Hayes from, we recently released our new report "The Impact of Mobile Apps on Network Operator Customer Loyalty." 26 pages jammed pack with insights, figures and data about how users view their network operators performance as it relates to their mobile app ecosystem.

Highlights and other info from the report can be found here:

We've received great feedback on the report, so thanks everyone! Binding mobile apps to network operator customer churn provides some great insights. Looking at some of the best practices of global mobile leaders like Vodafone and Zain (both companies identified in the report) should help network operators get ahead of the curve in terms of what they need to do to compete in this new mobile app world.

Of course, for Mob4Hire, the other important aspect of this report is how market researchers can use our crowd to create extremely cost-effective global panels of people living a mobile lifestyle!

In this study, we offered $2.50 for each qualified Mob4Hire Mobster to complete about a 20-minute survey. Our system sent the initial email blast on a Monday morning to about 18,000 qualified mobsters. 4,000 respondents completed within 48 hours. On day 5 we notified the qualified respondents again and got another 1,000 completes by the end of the weekend. Total sample size was 5000 respondents representing 111 countries, 204 network operators and 179 distinct mobile handsets.

So, in addition to getting global results within a week of the survey start, the cost was extremely reasonable. Total sample cost of the survey was only $16,125. Crazy!

Other companies reference in the report? Tigo, Mobitel, Sun Cellular, O2, Zain, Globe Telecom, Ufone, Vodafone, Warid Telcom, BSNL, Tele2, Telenor, Indosat, Mtel, Dialog, Smart Communications, Movistar, Airtel, Mobilink, 3, Claro, Telkomsel, T-Mobile, Reliance Mobile, Orange, AT&T Mobility, Rogers Wireless, Idea Cellular, MTN, XL, Telcel, Safaricom, Apple, RIM, HTC, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, LG, Motorola


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mob4Hire wins spot in Silicon Valley Telecom Council Innovation Showcase at CTIA Oct 2010

We are super-pumped to be one of the 16 companies selected out of over 100 entries to participate in the Silicon Valley Telecom Council Innovation Showcase at CTIA Enterprise and Applications 2010 in San Francisco in early October. To be specific, you'll be able to find us at: "Telecom Council Innovation Showcase Booth 908C"

Thank's to the Telecom Council (and the broad range of judges) for recognizing Mob4Hire's innovative business and opportunity!

More information can be found on their site:

Here's the LinkedIn event:

And for you Facebookers:

The Telecom Council is working with CTIA Enterprise & Applications to promote innovation, startups, and entrepreneurs in the wireless industry by highlighting them at this year’s Fall CTIA show on the show floor and with stage time. Over 100 wireless entrepreneurs from every segment of the ecosystem applied to be included in this showcase. Applications were judged by a prestigious Council member panel based on standard Telecom Council criteria – innovation, momentum, viability, and management. Together with our judges from AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Marvell, Huawei, Qualcomm, Motorola and others, the Council is proud to bring 16 forward-thinking companies to the CTIA Enterprise & Applications audience at booth 908.

See you at the show on Oct 6 to Oct 8, 2010!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mob4Hire 3rd Annual "Customer Week" brings team together in Calgary

When you're a micro-multinational doing business with a virtual team like Mob4Hire (see:, you look for opportunities to bring the whole team together to discuss Big Important Things. And, of course, there's nothing bigger or more important than our customers! So, for the 3rd annual "Customer Week," we took a bit of summer down-time to do some strategic planning a few weeks ago in Calgary.

Pictured here is 90% of the Mob4Hire team huddled in some boardroom space at Calgary Technologies Inc.; from left to right around the table: Bruce, Allen, Dean, Dac, Randy, Richard, John and Paul (taking the picture is Stephen).

The five day sessions included reflecting on a year of developing and releasing Mob4Hire version 4.0 in April (and all the subsequent enhancements since) as well as "what did we learn from our customers?" to continue to make Mob4Hire the largest mobile testing and market research community in the world.

As you probably know (and unlike all other testing communities we're aware of), Mob4Hire allows for both "do-it-yourself" projects as well as having us manage projects on the Mob4Hire platform on your behalf (which gives us the unique perspective of being customers of our own platform) and we continue to make great strides in our usability and value that the community can provide for you!

There have been more than 350 projects posted in Mob4Hire so far, so we're beginning to see some real activity heating up on the platform. As most startups that have been through this growth phase, we're PASSIONATE that Mob4Hire solves your problems quickly, inexpensively, and with a great deal of value and quality.

So, while we're super happy with version 4.0 community platform, the growth and size of the community (we're at 48,000 Mobsters and over 1,400 mobile development companies registered!), and the progress of our business, just wait to see what we've got in store for the next year!

We're listening ... send your comments to And, thanks for being our customer!

Monday, July 26, 2010

"There's a crAPP for that." Mob4Hire blogs about Big Brands on MRWEB.COM

Hi There:

Just wanted to let you know about my article for MRWEB.COM that was posted a couple days ago. "How to make a Big Brand App Not Suck." Truthfully, I was torn between that as a title and "There's a crAPP for that," so I used the latter for this post. :)

This was my second article for MRWEB (I wrote "Fear the One Star" back in November), and this time, I extend the concept and explore how Big Brands can approach the mobile marketplace with engagement and stickiness. With 400,000 apps globally in 75 different app stores, it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd.

I use a bit of the research in the new market research survey that we've got coming out within a week or so to help describe the app marketplace. I also reach into our experience here at Mob4Hire helping Big Brands bring apps to market and become as successful as possible as soon as possible. The article also includes a comparison of the New York Times Crossword puzzle app and Burger King's Valentines "Catch a Heart" app.
Smartphone users are savvy, brutally honest and have the attention span of a two year old. If it looks like crAPP, and it smells like crAPP, it’s crAPP.
Would love to hear your feedback ... post comments here or on MRWEB.

Thanks. Hope your summer is going great!

Stephen King, CEO
Mob4Hire Inc.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mob4Hire CTO, John Carpenter, to present "The Power of the Crowd" at Starwest in San Diego

This year's STARWEST "Software Testing, Analysis and Review" conference is taking place in San Diego on Sept 26 to Oct 1, 2010 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The greatest software testing conference on Earth, STARWEST is a gathering place for software testers, developers, and managers to interact and learn how to improve software-testing practices.

Mob4Hire CTO, John Carpenter, has been selected to speak on the topic of crowd-source testing. With an engineering degree in Geomatics and spatial programming, John has incorporated mapping and LBS technologies into mobile applications and games since 1999. John has many years of first-hand experience on the difficulties and expense of mobile application and cloud testing. He is a noted mobile technology evangelist and speaker.

John's topic is: "The Power of the Crowd: Mobile Testing for Scale and Global Coverage"

John's MUST-SEE presentation is on Thursday, September 30th at 9:45 in the "Embedded & Mobile Testing" track T5.

Register for STARWEST before July 30th, and get $400 super early bird discount off the price of the conference! Click here for Conference Brochure. Click here for the website:

Here's the topic description ... hope to see you there!

The Power of the Crowd: Mobile Testing for Scale and Global Coverage

Crowdsourced testing of mobile applications, a middle ground between in-house and outsourced testing, has many advantages: scale, speed, coverage, lower capital costs, reduced staffing costs, and no long-term commitments. However, crowdsourced testing of any application—mobile or not—should augment your professional testing resources, not replace them. Most importantly, crowdsourced testing has to be done well or it’s a waste of time and money. John Carpenter reviews the applications and ways he’s outsourced testing to the crowd. Focusing on adopting crowdsourcing for both functional and usability testing in mobile applications, John describes scenarios in which you can leverage the crowd to lower costs and increase product quality, including scaling the application to large populations of global users. John also reviews scenarios in which crowdsourcing can add unnecessary time and cost to a project and ways to avoid those pitfalls. Learn about the power of the crowd and when to use it to propel your testing project forward.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mob4Hire and Forum Nokia jointly offer MobExperience User Feedback Usability Testing

We are very pleased to announce that Mob4Hire is working with Forum Nokia to help mobile developers with User Experience testing.

"Forum Nokia is proud to announce that it is augmenting its design expertise available through its User Experience (UX) Evaluation service with the valuable crowd-sourced user feedback that comes from Mob4Hire."

Forum Nokia's approach to helping developers is refreshingly simple, with tools and resources around three pillars of success: Design, Develop and Distribute. Mob4Hire's approach to crowd-sourced user feedback products is similarly simple. See our "User Feedback in the 10 Steps of Mobile Development Cycle" chart.

Because of their broad range of languages, platform, device and global operator support, Mob4Hire is a natural fit. If developers are targeting testing for Java, Flash, S60, Series 40, Symbian, Symbian C++, whatever ... Mob4Hire's crowd of 45,000 in 150 countries (and 25,000 different devices) can help them with both functional and usability testing for mobile apps and mobile websites.

Making sure mobile apps run across multiple devices in multiple countries was the original concept behind Mob4Hire, and our MobTest product continues that tradition for Nokia developers.

Our MobExperience product takes it to a whole new level. Get many people to download and try our your app and then complete out our MobExperience survey providing unequalled user feedback experience. Your results come back within days, and is very cost-effective ... structured and organized feedback from 30 mobile users ANYWHERE in the world running ANY device starts at under $1,000 USD.

It's EXTREMELY important in a development cycle ... you can't make great software without user feedback!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mob4Hire CEO shares Mobile Developer Best Practices on NAVTEQ NN4D Youtube Channel

"Join NN4D's partner Mob4Hire, as Stephen King, CEO describes in a 4 segment series what developers should take into consideration if they want to succeed in today's market place -- customer needs, carrier logistics, platforms-of-choice, real stats, testing and more."

The videos can be found on NAVTEQ's Youtube channel.

Big Brands looking to have an impact with mobile apps need to consider several things; does it have utility, can it be recommended, can it be updated frequently with relevant data, is it useful on an ongoing basis AND IS IT PERSONALIZED with user experience or Geolocation?

For example, the New York Times just published an app that incorporates Geolocation:

Location aware apps are some of the most "stickiest" apps in use; apps that are used frequently by mobile users, they stay on their smartphones for longer periods of time, and they are more likely to be recommended on an ongoing basis.

Unfortunately, for mobile developers, it's even MORE difficult to test LBS apps in market ... which is why the Mob4Hire and NAVTEQ NN4D relationship is helping developers get to market with more confidence around topics such as:

1) Battery life consumption
2) Device and carrier fragmentation
3) Time to first locate and accuracy
4) Handling large of amounts of location data
5) Handling of dead zones and loss of signal

Sunday, June 27, 2010

You know you're getting big when ... Caution: Mob4Hire email phish

It came to our surprise this morning that someone has been phishing for email addresses of community members. This is a bad thing.

Phishing according to Wikipedia is:
"In the field of computer security, phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication."

The email shown to the right is a spam that has been received by many people; including people who are part of Mob4Hire. THIS EMAIL IS NOT FROM MOB4HIRE. This particular Phish email is looking to obtain your email address.

Emails from Mob4Hire ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have your first name addressed on them, as well as your "Mob4Hire Citizen since ..." date. They are also ALWAYS addressed by me (Stephen King, CEO,

As in all email attacks, if you don't recognize that data, don't open the email. Don't click on the links. Don't open or run any attached files. If in doubt about an email from Mob4Hire, manually type into your browser. This can ensure that you are reaching the Mob4Hire site.

Want to know more about "Malware?" Here's the Wikipedia link:

Sorry this happened ... but maybe it was inevitable as we get bigger ... I guess we're all a victim of our own success!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mob4Hire voted finalist in 2010 Meffys Awards by journalists from over 45 countries

We're super pumped to have been named a finalist in the 2010 Meffys Awards, with the likes of GetJar, Hungama Mobile, mBlox and Shorthand, and Openwave. Thanks and fingers crossed!

25 May 2010, London – Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) today announced the finalists for the 2010 Meffys Awards. These were selected after four days of judging by representatives from over 45 companies, publications and analyst houses. Now in their seventh year, the 2010 Meffys submissions highlight innovative apps, services and mobile connected devices from across the globe.

Rimma Perelmuter, Executive Director of MEF, said: “The 2010 Meffys shortlist reflects the profound changes and opportunities occurring in the current mobile media and entertainment industries. Mobile is no longer a standalone platform but is increasingly an integrated and integral gateway to engaging, entertaining and satisfying consumers. Amongst the entries were some excellent examples of mobile being deeply integrated with content and services on other platforms to provide consumers with a holistic, compelling and immersive experience across their media consumption touch points.

MEF is also pleased to announce that Dolby Laboratories has signed on as Gold sponsor for this year’s Meffys Awards. Winners of the Quality of Experience award in 2009, Dolby will be showcasing how their world-leading audio technologies are bringing the cinematic surround sound experience to entertainment on the go, adding a touch of Hollywood to the handset at this year’s event. 2010 Meffys sponsors also include 7Digital, Buongiorno and Vodafone.

This year’s winners will be unveiled on 21 June at a special gala awards dinner to an audience of 400 key industry players, taking place on the eve of MEF’s official annual conference, Mobile Entertainment Market.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mob4Hire's Stephen King appears at Motorola Motodev Summit Android Panel in LATAM

"Muy bien el evento de Motorola"

Mob4Hire CEO Stephen King repeats his Android panel involvement at the Motodev Summits in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina ... sort of ... appearing by video.

Starting yesterday in Mexico City and running over the next two weeks, the Motodev Summits in LATAM are must-attends for mobile developers hoping to strike it rich making Android apps, especially with the launch of the new LATAM Android store that Motodev is launching.

Stephen was on the "Maximize Your Android Opportunity" panel in both MWC Barcelona and CTIA Las Vegas, and was invited again to the LATAM part of the tour.

Unable to attend, they made videos of his answers which will be played live and translated during the panel sessions. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to post some of them here or at least direct you to an online resource. Look at the our new Mob4Hire Trailer Video and watch from about 2:02 to 2:25 ... that's a sample from one of the videos.

We appreciate Motodev as a partner ... they are doing great things for the Android Platform, their integrated debugging and coding tools are second-to-none and the team is sincere in their efforts to help developers! The LATAM Summits will be very successful.

New Mob4Hire Trailer Video on Youtube

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mob4Hire named on Branham 300 annual list of top technology companies in Canada

We were honoured to be named one of the Top 25 ICT Up and Comers on Branham's annual list of 300 top technology firms in Canada.

Have a look at Backbone Magazine's coverage of the Top 25 list. We were equally honoured to be one of only two Albertan companies on the list, sharing the podium with our friends over at Tynt (as a sidenote ... we use their technology on our new Version 4.0 of our Mob4Hire platform, launched last week).

According to Branham's, the top 25 ICT Up and Comers "... are selected based on creativity and innovation whether in a new technology area or optimizing existing technology in an innovative manner." and, further, "because of the progress they made in a period of time when the margin for error was extremely small."

Branham Group is a leading industry analyst and strategic consulting firm servicing the global information technology marketplace. Entering its 17th year, the Branham300 highlights the top Canadian and Multinational ICT companies operating in Canada and is widely considered to be a leading source of intelligence on Canada's ICT industry.

Thanks, thanks, thanks ... we appreciate the recognition for the work that we're doing for our customers!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mob4Hire launches Version 4.0 of award-winning community platform after a year in development.

Hi Everyone:

*whew* We're tired and excited today.

About a year ago, we had a company-wide meeting "customer week" where we all met in Calgary to refine our vision of what a next generation community crowd-sourcing marketplace platform should and can be. Today, we proudly launched Mob4Hire V4.0 that is the culmination of a LOT of hard work and thinking. Check it out live at Here's the press release.

Before I talk about what's in the release, though, I want to talk about the people that made it happen. Great things can be created by great smart teams. The last 20% of a release cycle is always the toughest, but it's where the magic happens ... we really put our nose to the development grindstone after the Blackberry Developer Conference last November. Since then, it's become quite a software "death-march" for us, interspersed with great success at both MWC Barcelona (February) and CTIA Las Vegas (March).

So hats off to the team that's made it happen with perseverance, intelligence, wit and crazy-startuppy-ness: Richard, Randy, John, Paul, Allen, Ervin, Bob, Bruce, Bob, Shaun, Dac, Mark, and Steve. Kudos and congrats, my friends.

In fact, it takes a village to raise a child; in addition to the direct Mob4Hire team, we sincerely thank all our Advisors ... your input and support have been fantastic. The complete team represents a broad range of expertise in many disciplines stretching across four different countries. Check out the whole MobSquad at Not to mention all of our friends in industry around the world ... u know who you are, and we gratefully thank you for your help ... keep those retweets coming!

Last but not least, we thank the over 40,000 mobile users from 150 countries that provide great crowd-source services, and the almost 1,000 developers and market researchers who have registered in Mob4Hire. We hope you like what we've done ... and we're continuously learning how to better help you, so let us know how we're doing either way at

The thing that excites us most about Mob4Hire V4.0 is that we've built an amazing crowd-sourced architecture that will serve as the foundation for even more crazy-startuppy-ness things in the future. Hmmm ... actually, that's not entirely true. The thing that REALLY excites us most is that we're helping developers just like ourselves make better software, create better user experiences and generate more revenue through viral recommendations and 4 & 5 star ratings in apps stores.
Our mobile community of ‘real people on real handsets with real opinions’ is in virtually every country on the planet. We offer valuable, cost-effective and unique services in the value chain across the mobile ecosystem to include mobile users in the development cycle of mobile apps, mobile websites, mobile ad campaigns, or whatever ... you can't make great software without users in the development cycle! This can be the difference between success and failure for our customers.
The press release goes into details about what's in the new platform, a bit of extra stuff, and introduces our new Managed Services team.

Thanks for being part of the Mob ... together, we make mobile better.

Stephen King, CEO
Paul Poutanen, President and Founder

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mob4Hire releases first look at "Global Wireless Satisfaction Survey"

I'm excited to announce the first look of the results of our Mob4Hire "Global Wireless Satisfaction Survey." Conducted in collaboration with Dr. Bob E. Hayes, PhD of Business Over Broadway in Feb 2010, the unprecedented 111-country survey analyzes the impact of mobile apps on operator’s churn (# of new customers acquired minus # of existing customers lost), as well as many dimensions of the app ecosystem as it relates to mobile user behavior and satisfaction.

You can have a look at the press release here:

We're pleased to provide the research free of charge: The 8-page report is available at Slideshare by clicking here or see below.

This research from this survey is significant from two standpoints:
  1. It demonstrates that the mobile apps and ecosystem that network operators provide users is extremely important to their customer loyalty around the globe: 75% of mobile app enthusiasts say mobile apps are important when choosing their new operator. And, almost 40% cite "bad mobile apps" as a reason they left their operator. The dimensions of wireless coverage and service are still MORE important than mobile app choice, but it certainly raises the bar for operators, and gives them one more thing they have to think about.
  2. It demonstrates a great use of our distributed community of more than 40,000 people in 146 countries on 364 network operators.
There's plenty of other great stuff coming from Mob4Hire in the next little while, including some more survey reports with some other great data, some partner announcements and ... ? Stay tuned.

Thanks to everyone that took the time to participate. Also, thanks to Dr. Hayes for his partnership and friendship.

And, as always, Trust in the Mob!

Stephen King, CEO

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stephen King CEO of Mob4hire speaks with at GSMA Barcelona Feb 2010

The good folks at continue to do their fine work giving exposure to hundreds of innovative technology companies. In this latest segment on Mob4Hire, bnetTV's Michelle Sklar interviews Stephen King, who gives an update on Mob4Hire and the need for user functional and usability testing, as well as deeper market research in the new mobile app gold rush. See you at CTIA Las Vegas, bnetTV!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mob4Hire WOWs at MWC Barcelona 2010

We had a great time last week at Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona! I documented the industry perspective in my blog posts for; which you can read here. Thanks to Rob Lewis for posting ...

Summary from MWC 2010:
It’s all about the apps.
I don’t want to re-iterate what I said in those posts ‘cause you can read them yourselves, but I wanted to augment that story with our personal success. Starting on Day 1 when we joined Motodev at their Developer Conference, it was a week of unprecedented attention.

I was happy to sit on the "Maximize your Android Market Opportunity" panel ... fun stuff. Ultimately, any business needs to make money, and mobile developers are well known for their current starving artist period (i.e. lots are not making money!). Using some stats I gathered from places like, a developer can start piecing together a real business strategy vs. making the 9,000th iteration of Tetris.

Throughout the week, it's clear that our message of “Don’t Crash. Don’t Suck. Get Sticky.” is becoming the mantra for an industry that suffers from worsening handset, O/S and operator fragmentation. The citizens of the Mob4Hire community share the same belief: having real people involved in the development of mobile software is vital to having a great user experience when the app, mobile website or mobile ad campaign is released.

You can’t make great software without users.

And, if you don't have great software, you will not get good user ratings on an app store. Our current research shows that 83% of mobile users won't download software without seeing 4 or 5 star user ratings in app store reviews. We call it "The Curse of the One Star"

Marek Pawlowski from the London based MEX forum (global leaders in user experience) joined us in the booth for awhile; he blogged about the "growing interest in remote mobile user experience testing" on the MEX site. As Marek states:

With so many variations of handset and networks, it is impossible to predict where the chain of user experience will break down in a controlled environment - the Mob4Hire approach gets you direct to the street-level conditions which will make or break the UX of your application.
We also got a great mention from Russell Buckley at
But how do you know if users will rank your App high or low? That’s where Mob4Hire come in – by pre-testing your App before it’s launched. Not only will you learn what your ranking will probably be with that version, but you’ll find out why. This allows you to improve and tweak your App, re-test and launch when you’re confident that you’ve cracked it.
It was also heartening to have some great meetings with many partners, carriers and handset manufacturers who are looking at crowdsourcing as the answer to not only create great user experiences, but also to give scale to testing and market research processes. Not to mention, helping to guarantee that apps, websites and ad campaigns will resonate with users “Ummm ... do you know why users will love that app? Because users helped create it.”

Specifically, our “Mob4Hire as a Platform” architecture is drawing great attention since our specially designed API’s give them a great head start in the adoption of crowdsourced solutions. By leaving the hard part of crowd management and cloud infrastructure to us, enterprises such as carriers, operating systems and handset manufacturers can quickly introduce the power of crowd sourcing to their app stores, developer networks. Click here to make an appointment to talk to us at CTIA Vegas next month!

Last but not least, thanks to Heli and Laura and everyone at the Canadian Pavilion for the great opportunity and for working so hard to make it come together. We’re excited to be included in very impressive group of world class and leading edge companies.

We’ve got some big announcements coming up in the next few months. Stay tuned!

Thanks to everyone that's helped out along the way ... as always: Trust in the Mob!

Stephen King, CEO

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mob4Hire at Mobile World Congress Barcelona

The last few weeks before THE major worldwide wireless trade show are always crazy. First, there's making sure every ounce of our time is well spent meeting with our friends, customers, partners and media. It's a good chance to get out from behind Skype and have quality face to face time.

Second, after coming off a great autumn season, we got deep down into product development over the last few months and, in addition to several great announcements to make, we'll be showing off the first looks at our new Version 3 Mob4Hire platform!

We are proud to be in the Canadian Pavilion this year ... thanks to all the great people at the Federal and Provincial (Alberta) governments for putting this together! Specifically, we are in the Canadian Pavilion in booth area 2A105 in Hall 2 near the exit to Hall 1. See map to the right.

Come by and see us! If you'd like to pre-arrange a meeting, please contact Allen Poutanen, VP Business Development:

See you in Catalonia!