Margaret Mead and Mobile

mobileTech Tuesday, by Steve Guengerich

It’s Wednesday, not Tuesday (the holiday through me off) and this is a bit more of a pure editorial piece than my normal contribution, but bear with me. 

There was as good article in a recent edition of the Sunday Statesman by Brian Gaar on the greater Austin mobile scene. 

What I really liked about the article, besides the picture of Whurley with Grover, were some of the comments from the principals interviewed about Austin and the mobile scene.  They were asked about attributes that make our region a good locus for the growth that mobile development has seen, as well as how they expect it to evolve, especially in relationship to other regions.

It seems that a good number believe that the region needs a breakout hit to elevate its status to the topmost tier as the #1 place for mobile.  At the same time, there is some reticence to believe that even such a hit would make enough of a difference, given the dominance of Silicon Valley-based mobile titans like Google and Apple.

Returning to the Statesman article, a particular quote stayed with me on this subject: “we’re never going to be a dominant scene if we don’t all work together to foster the competition” with other regions.

It reminded me of the famous quote, most often attributed to the American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

To build such a shared sense of thought and commitment to making Austin the most desirable mobile scene, one must have good gathering spots – both physically and digitally.  We’ve talked about a few of the physical gathering spots are the Austin Tech Happy Hours, Social Media Club meetings, Mobile Monday happy hours, iPhone and Android meet-ups, and (annually) the Texas Wireless Summit – just to name a few!

For digital gathering spots, there are a variety as well, ranging from the regular coverage of mobile by the Statesman and Business Journal, to a variety of good blogs by individuals (like Enrique Ortiz) and companies (like Digby, where you can learn a lot about mobile retail).

Our blog – The Appconomy – is another good digital gathering spot.  In fact, we’ve just updated it to add more original articles, more participation and sharing by readers, and other useful information like regional / national events and apps of note.  I hope you will take a look and register to add your ideas and thoughts.

Otherwise, like Ms. Mead said, without more thoughtful, committed, mobile citizens working together, we risk coming up short in the on-going fight on the national scene (and global) to retain and attract the best and brightest people and companies to our region.

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