Past, Present & Future of Mobile: Conduit Mobile VP Talks Shop
As we go full speed ahead into 2014, many businesses are taking some time to wind down and reflect on the achievements of the year behind us and set goals for the upcoming year.
So at Conduit Mobile, we thought we would take this opportunity to sit down with our passionate and energetic VP of the Mobile Business Unit, Harel Tayeb, to have him recap 2013 and shed some light on what’s in store for 2014 for both Conduit Mobile and the mobile industry at large.
What was your first ever job and what did you learn from it?
When I was 10, I worked as a camp counselor during my summer vacation. I still remember how proud I was that I earned my own money, and how I treated my family to ice cream at the local mall at the end of that summer. This experience taught me all about leadership, and the responsibility you carry when you know that people are looking up to you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bunch of kids at summer camp, employees at a big company, or even your own children – being a good leader is first of all being a good role model.
What do you like to do when you’re not on WhatsApp?
I love to experience new things—new restaurants, people, places. I also love meeting up with close friends at home, especially when the conversation drifts towards my favorite topics: philosophy and technology. These topics are more closely related than you think. I find that you can learn a lot from one and use it to understand the other.
Who is your mentor in the world of business?
The obvious answer would be Steve Jobs, who has inspired me in so many different ways—mostly by his nonconformity and his ability to think outside the box. But I’ll have to say my business mentor is Elon Musk, an engineer and inventor who taught himself computer programming and sold the computer code for a popular video game at the age of 12. He left Stanford University after two days to pursue his startup dreams and went on to found PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors. Interestingly, when asked about his investment philosophy, he states that he doesn’t have one, and he just tries to identify challenges and solutions during his daily routine and build a business to solve these challenges. I’m sure I am not the only one who can relate to that.
What is your favorite app and why?
This is a difficult one. There are so many amazing apps out there and I keep changing my mind every week. I really like the Vine app. Its signup page sucks me in right away, and I like its seamless integration with Twitter and simple, clear user experience. The videos just run right through as you scroll, and all it takes is a tap to stop. The functionality is so simple, yet so engaging. In my opinion, Vine marks a new way of communication— loud and fast, with all your senses working simultaneously!
What were your mobile industry highlights of 2013?
1. iPhone 5s: The fingerprint feature is a real game changer for the industry. Perhaps not an immediate one, but in the near future we will see a lot of companies following suit and using this capability in a way that will change the way we use our smartphones.
2. Google Now: The simplicity and ease of use is quite amazing. So obvious, yet only Google could use such a vast amount of information and deliver something of such value.
3. Wearable Gadgets: Google Glass has opened up a whole new industry and it is just the start of a whole world of technology to come. I am certain it is something that mobile can team up with in the near future.
The battle between the two big operating systems in the mobile industry, iOS and Android, continued in 2013. As they both aggressively try to expand, how does that impact mobile publishers?
Interestingly, if you analyze and understand the vision behind each operating system, you will be able to create a mobile solution that will leverage the strengths of each platform. The SMB owner is not the final customer, so the app should really cater towards the experience of each end user. For example, an iOS user will expect one functionality whereas an Android user will expect a completely different functionality for the same feature. At Conduit Mobile, we’ve already done that for you. Our platform bridges that gap so publishers don’t have to do anything to provide their users with a seamless experience.
On a personal note, what do you think was the year’s standout point for Conduit Mobile?
It has to be our growth. In the last year we have grown across so many areas. At present, 2,000 new apps are created daily via our app-creation platform. Our team has worked hard on building a unique culture of innovation, agility, and enjoyment and it shows in everything we do. Our product is now seen as a "must have" solution for any SMB that wants to grow their business.
What do you think will be the biggest change in the world of app-creation in 2014?
The further realization that a mobile app is not just an added value but an essential part or extension of your core business strategy. SMBs will understand that if they don't have a good mobile solution, they will be losing engagement, losing potential customers, and losing money.
What should we look out for from Conduit Mobile in the next 12 months?
We are looking to change the way that app owners perceive their app’s value, as well as the way that they can build and manage their apps. We will help them understand that their mobile app should be ROI or engagement driven, and not just seen as a nice-to-have tool. We hope that each business, artist, or community organization will have a strong mobile presence, whether it’s through mobile apps, wearable devices, or cross-platform features.
Last but not least, if you were a superhero, would you rather be Batman or Superman?
Superman, of course. All you need is to put a towel or sheet around your neck as a cape, and you can be Superman. It’s much like creating a mobile app because anyone can do it!