By nearly every account, mobile is the hottest area in tech. Looking at the data – from sales growth rates in hardware, led by Apple, to download volumes of software, represented by the ubiquitous app - the numbers are skyrocketing.
Anecdotally, the man who coined ‘web 2.0′ for the last trend, Tim O’Reilly, remarked in a recent NPR story “The biggest thing that’s next, that’s on everybody’s mind, is the transition to mobile.”
Fortunately, Austin is well-positioned to thrive during this transition, with a number of companies succeeding and legitimately leading their respective categories, like recent newsmakers Gowalla and Qrank. But, like every ‘overnight’ success, this position is the result of deliberate investment and hard work by institutions and individuals for many years.
Groups like the Austin Technology Incubator’s Wireless program, led by Bart Bohn, and the grassroots mobile networking association Mobile Monday, championed by Enrique Ortiz, have been serving as centers of gravity.
Now that the early phase of the mobile market has been validated, it’s important to capitalize on the ‘fast follower’ phase of market growth, by further strengthening these groups and supporting other resources in the region.
One simple step in this process is simply to map the mobile scene. ‘Scene mapping’ is a body of work that Austin’s Bijoy Goswami and Heather McKissick have been developing the past two years, as part of their collaboration, the Austin (or ATX) Equation.
Through their inspiration, I’ve created an interactive strawman for the Austin Mobile Scene, using the same mindmapping software that Bijoy used to create the Austin Entrepreneurship Scene. This is not a finished product – in fact, it barely scratches the surface of companies, products, events, associations, information sources (media), and people that represent the core of Austin’s Mobile Scene.
That’s where you come in: chip in and help map the Austin Mobile Scene.
Many are predicting that 2011 will be the year that mobile takes off in mainstream enterprise applications. Austin and central Texas should be huge beneficiaries if this prediction holds true. Our strong semiconductor, communications and enterprise software legacy, combined with the early beachhead successes in consumer mobile apps, ought to serve as an accelerator of business applications.
I’ll talk more about mobile business apps for the enterprise in the next mobileTech Tuesday. On a personal note, it’s great to be back as a contributor to AustinStartup, after a summer sabbatical.