Mobile10: Raam Thakrar
Interviews with key mobile influencers
- Raam Thakrar
I find it amazing that consumers are all very worried about spending $1 or $2 on an app, but are happy to drop £100-£200 on a pair of Beats headphones”
Next in the MOBILE10 chair is Raam Thakrar. Raam grew up in the same neck of the woods as me and is one of the soundest guys I know in the mobile industry. Even if he is an old Taylorian.
What’s your app of the moment?
Skype. I’ve finally got an iPad 2 at home, and realised how nice Skype is to talk to family.
Oh, and Google Maps seems to get used an inordinate amount.
What is your primary phone?
An iPhone 4, an HTC Sensation, a Galaxy S 2. My wife still gets annoyed when I change phone, as she has to start Angry Birds from the beginning again each time.
Which mobile startups have you got your eye on?
I find the highly-funded US startups really interesting – how the likes of Path and Color launched with such fanfare and are now mid-pivot.
I recently discovered the agency UsTwo, and were impressed and bemused by some of the stuff that they’re coming out with. I’m constantly amazed at how much beautiful UI is now expected by the average mobile consumer.
What are you currently working on?
Full time on Touchnote – reinventing how tech can help you to be a much better friend. First step – postcards from your mobile.
What will be the biggest opportunity in 2012?
- mCommerce (finally really coming of age)
- the continued trend around photography – that Annie Leibovitz now recommends the iPhone as best camera today suggests that this is only going to increase
- holding real stuff – Disney’s AppMATes is an early and pretty impressive example of this, and this trend will only continue
- phone paraphernalia – I find it amazing that consumers are all very worried about spending $1 or $2 on an app, but are happy to drop £100-£200 on a pair of Beats headphones (or £20 on an one of the Disney AppMATes cars for their kids). And of course £35 on an iPad case.
Who are your 3 rockstars in mobile?
- Mark Curtis has taught me a lot about mobile, as has Chris Wade – both seasoned (what a nice way to put it) and wise about the industry
- Harald Neidhardt at Smaato – all round, one of the nicest people in mobile.
- Ewan MacLeod – a Brit blogger who rants wisely about a host of (mobile) stuff
- And on a global level, Jeff Bezos of Amazon. Amazon has really shown that consumers are willing and able to buy a huge amount of stuff from their devices – whether from the Amazon shop or from the Android store. And the Kindle really seems to be nailing it.
Err, that’s 5.
Who were you working for 10 years ago?
I was working for Florin Bolchis at Kaiser Associates, a strategy consulting company. I was there for a couple of years, and learnt a lot – especially how big companies think.
Who was/is your best boss?
Ricardo Frohmader – I worked with him in Guatemala for about 2 years, and he taught me a huge amount about how to interact with people and get the most from them. Inspirational, I still think of him as a mentor even today.
Who else should we interview?
Ed Hodges – he kicked off much of my mobile thinking, and is doing some awesome things in mobile banking.
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What is Mobile10?
The Mobile10 interview is a series of profile pieces on leading global influencers in the mobile sector. Each interviewee is asked to give their viewpoints on new mobile innovations and growth opportunities as well as revealing their own mobile habits over the course of 10 questions.