Volker on Mobile, Games, Education…

Humanities and the (Global) Silicon Valley

Posted by in Thoughts

So… this is something I have been carrying around with me for a while. A long while. The thing is this: the Zuckerbergs, Pages, Jobs (may he rest in peace) and all those other rockstars from the valley generally missed (and, unfortunately, still do miss) one thing, and that is a decent ethical compass. Now, I won’t accuse any of them of being bad people, not at all. However, I do think that the infatuation with engineering talent does tend to blank out the “good” in as most people would…read more

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Big Data is Awesome. Or it is Not.

Posted by in Social, Thoughts

Only a few quick thoughts after inspiring days… Big data has opened a lot of channels (and, no, not only to the NSA). The computation of vast amounts of information has incredible opportunities – quite literally the stuff movies are made of, right? And, of course, this means that there are both insanely awesome as well as insanely scary opportunities out there. Oh, and then there are insanely boring ones, too. The difference between the first two and the last is in the ability to, well, compute it cleverly, i.e….read more

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Event: Start-Up Grind Los Angeles

Posted by in Events

If you’re in Los Angeles this week, I would urge you to come over to the Startup Grind Meetup on Wednesday night where my good friend (and exceptional speaker) Robert Tercek will give a keynote. It is bound to be full of enlightening stuff about the future of media & technology (he’s been there and done that many a time, be it with Star TV, Sony Digital, Packetvideo, Oprah Winfrey Networks or any number of ventures he was involved with over the years). You can RSVP here and buy tickets here (they’re cheap,…read more

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Event: ICT Spring Luxembourg

Posted by in BlackBerry, Events, Games

Are you in Luxembourg and not involved in either counting money or European law? Then I would urge you to come along to ICT Spring, the conference that will take place next week. it is a widely varied agenda. I’ll be speaking on a panel on “How Games are Impacting the Global Social and Business Landscapes” (yes, it is about gamification) and will be joined by a venerable list of A-listers: None less but Trip Hawkins (founder of EA and Digital Chocolate); Boris Pfeiffer (MD of Kabam Europe); David Gardner…read more

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Oh America, where art thou?

Posted by in Thoughts

I am pretty angry, America (OK, American government; that is)! What on earth are you doing? (oh, and hello, NSA, thanks for checking in). Let me open with Plato (Laws): “Where the law is subject to some other authority and has none of its own, the collapse of the state, in my view, is not far off; but if law is the master of the government and the government is its slave, then the situation is full of promise and men enjoy all the blessings that the gods shower on…read more

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The Power of Platforms (Part 2)

Posted by in Android, Apple, BlackBerry, OEM, Thoughts

A couple of weeks ago, I looked at the power of platforms. In that post, I tried to trace the line from the shift of platform power and suggested that (in mobile) after carriers and operating systems, we would now be looking to services and applications. I specifically pointed out the shift that Apple’s initial break-up of the first powerhouse, the network operators (or carriers if you prefer that term) was under threat from Android, which itself struggled with a number of things. Android has the challenge of platform fragmentation…read more

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Wearable is the New Black

Posted by in OEM, Thoughts

Ever since I have been working with and speaking about mobile technologies and its unique features, the fact that it was, erm, mobile was and remains key. This sounds odd at first sight but when you look back at the relatively brief history, you’ll see that the number of use cases, addressable user base and, consequently, mass effects with subsequent ubiquity depend crucially on size, weight, etc. Does Size Matter? For a while, this meant people were taken down a path where everyone thought that the biggest innovation in mobile…read more

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