As our 5th academy approaches and we get ready for an all-alumni drinks on Friday, we look back to the Summer of 2012 — not because of the Olympics — oh no — but because it was our first academy!

Happily, we have con­tinued to attract a diverse crowd; from freel­ance developers, to agen­cies — large and small, from mar­keters to those in between jobs, many with ideas that they want to kick around, some already working full time on their new ven­tures. As an example of the diversity, in this video, from the first pro­gramme, we see the large agen­cies rep­res­ented: Sammi from M&C Saatchi and Clare from Atos; Brian, Andy and Chris who are all still working on their Start Ups and Dave who is working on eHealth Soft­ware Product Devel­op­ment at Imperial.

Alumni from The Mobile Academy on Vimeo.

Lots has happened with the par­ti­cipants of the first course, in the two years since attending. Many have brought new products to beta and some to full market launch; some have managed to get the jobs that they wanted focus­sing on mobile; others have won awards, got the top of app stores and raised funding.

Here is also a review of how the academy is con­trib­uting to London’s Mobile Eco­system.

Further Reading — Insights from Forum Oxford #needtoknowmobile

Thanks to Pan­telis Mourato­glou from our 4th Academy for sharing his thoughts: 

1. The first major thought raised by Haydn Shaugh­nessy was whether busi­nesses have really under­stood how sig­ni­fic­antly mobile is trans­forming their markets. That the big mobile com­mu­nic­a­tions pro­viders find it chal­len­ging to keep up with the evol­u­tion of tech­no­logy? Karim Lesina gave us a good example of how dif­fi­cult it was for AT&T to keep up with 3G and 4G. The lesson was how important it was to invest in innovation.

2. Emer­ging markets vs Mobile – Today 170m mobile devices operate in Brazil. Revenue made in mobile 2013: $25bn with $70bn to be made from mobile in Brazil in 2017 according to Patricia Timoner. It was inter­esting to find out also that Brazilians do not mind ads — in fact they enjoy them!

3. Can I fund my app without going to the bank? In line with Sean Kane’s present­a­tion, crowd­funding is increasing in volume ($-wise and player-wise). Com­munities like F6s help the start-up world to connect. (Note: he is a founder at F6s)

4. The top 5 coun­tries with the highest com­bined revenue for both app stores (Google + Apple) are South Korea, China, Japan, US, UK. The best App ana­lytics tools, according to Chris Book: Flurry, AppSee, X-Mobile Tracking.

5. Mick Rigby, Richard Downey and Tony Pearce all emphas­ized the sig­ni­fic­ance of making your app dis­cov­er­able and then keeping high levels of engage­ment with your cus­tomers post-download. Have a look at Peggy Anne Salz’s  book — Appo­nomics. Jeanette Carlsson gave us the tip of focus­sing first on what the cus­tomer wants and needs before and be focussed about where to reach them.

6. If you want to know how to reach inter­na­tional audi­ences for your start-up in 3 years, look up Lee Omar’s journey — and I would also recom­mend readying about Patrick Bergel’s story.

7. Security - listening to David Rogers made me realise how important security is in this fast moving environment.

8. The power of media is to a certain extent shifting away from media pro­viders to people thanks to mobile. Proof of citizen journ­alism according to Tineka Smith, is found during last year’s protests in Turkey, where people become the media. Cath­erine Mul­ligan on Internet of Things (IoT), created a picture where inter­con­nectivity con­structs a world full of smart cities. Life is sup­posed to be easier (smarter) with inter­con­nectivity. But how sure can we be about that?

Overall, it was a great exper­i­ence where I got most recent updates about mobile and met awesome people that have made it in mobile. I found out about the con­fer­ence through The Mobile Academy so ulti­mately, thanks goes back to you guys!


Insights from an audience with @RussellBuckley #needtoknowmobile

I asked par­ti­cipants to note down key insights and quotes from the Q&A session with Russell Buckley and here is the smor­gas­bord we got:

  • If you haven’t read The Lean Start-up, you should
  • You can’t do a start-up part time
  • A part of busi­ness is about learning from your mistakes
  • The time to give up your day job is tomorrow
  • Just because some­thing can be done doesn’t mean it should be done
  • Try to let data drive your decisions
  • Timing is very important for innovation
  • On recruit­ment: Trust your gut feel, your stomach is your 2nd brain
  • I’m not a digital native, I’m a digital immig­rant — the context was that founders really ought not to be working on products that are outside of their natural exper­i­ences — so Russell would not see himself starting a new tech busi­ness for teenagers
  • On co-founders: you must like and respect each oter and have clear areas of responsibility
  • Not everyone can be an entre­preneur, so make sure you’re really com­mitted to the idea before you start and try and find ways to con­stantly improve your per­form­ance through ment­oring, reading and talking to your peers
  • Don’t get carried away by and idea — make sure there is a marketRussell
  • Don’t have more than 2 or 3 founders
  • Speed can be the big advantage for start-ups
  • Have a vision and be able to com­mu­nicate it — being good at com­mu­nic­a­tion is a very important skill
  • The board of dir­ectors should be an odd number, but never more than two”  Russell quoting the dude from Fiat!
  • Touch Surgery are a really good example of some­thing I am excited about right now
  • You can take on the big guys and win if you focus on doing one thing and doing it really well - the context was not to get dis­tracted if a cus­tomer asks you to solve a dif­ferent problem that the one you are offering a solu­tion for

Many thanks to Russell for taking the time to come and be inter­viewed by us — it was a total pleasure - full of prac­tical, been-there-done-it advice and fired us all up!

Further reading on Agile from @CraigStrong

Thanks to Craig for a fab­ulous debut at the academy last week. Here is some further reading in response to the many ques­tions that you asked!

Agile At Spotify (Case Study)


Made By Many — Skype In The Class Room (Case Study)


Free monthly meet ups Dis­cussing real work applic­a­tion of Agile


Some recent talks
Jeff Gothelf — Building Suc­cessful In-House Innov­a­tion Teams
Sophie Freier­muth — Integ­rating UX into your Agile team
Roman Pichler — Making Agile Product Roadmaps work ­
Emily Webber from GDS 


Free Ebook cov­ering real life applic­a­tion of Scrum
This book aims to give you a head start by providing a detailed down-to-earth account of how one Swedish company imple­mented Scrum and XP with a team of approx­im­ately 40 people and how they
con­tinu­ously improved their process over a year’s time.


Car Built Using Scrum


Basic Intro Guide To Scrum


Scrum for star­tups


Agile at GDS (Tra­di­tional envir­on­ment where lot’s of paper­work existed that shifted)

Drop In Night

P1050886At Drop In Night you will each be able to select 3 x 20 minute ses­sions. This will be on a first come first serve basis from 6.25pm — so depending on what time you arrive, you may not get your first choices.

To make the most out of Drop In Night:

  • Take a look at the list of experts (check out the Who’s Who) and think through who you most want to get a session with
  • Prac­tice your elev­ator pitch — with only 20 minutes, you want to get to your ques­tions as quickly as you can
  • Con­sider teaming up — perhaps you have the same ques­tion as someone else and you can share ses­sions … more bang for your buck
  • If you do not want any advice, ask others if you can sit in on their sessions

Here are the list of sur­geries on offer (there may be some small changes to this list)

Niall Roche — Tech­nical App Devel­op­ment
Richard Groves — iOS Devel­op­ment
Tim Closs — Cross Plat­form Devel­op­ment
Meaghan Fitzgerald — Mar­keting
Paul Philips — Brand
Michel Sabatier — Getting invest­ment
Ann Zit­ter­kopf — Building a Busi­ness
Viji Pathy — Android Devel­op­ment
John Spindler — Fin­an­cing
Alastair Moore — Busi­ness Models & Lean
Jo Rabin — Tech & Busi­ness Advice
Priya Prakash — Design
Sam Harper — Legal
Craig Strong — Scrum & Lean
Elliot Dell — Career Management