In which parts of the world can we find the most innovative developments in mobile products?
One way to answer that question is to look at the 20 finalists of the recent “Mobile Premier Awards” event. Entries to this contest came from all over the world, nominated by local Mobile Monday chapter organisations. An international group of judges whittled down the list of local nominations to a group of 20 finalists. Here’s the geographical breakdown of the final 20:
- 1 from South America (Bogota)
- 2 from North America (New York and Silicon Valley)
- 2 from India (Chennai and New Delhi)
- 1 from the Middle East (Tel Aviv)
- 5 from Baltic countries (Copenhagen, Estonia, Lithuania, Oslo, and Stockholm)
- 1 from Balkan countries (Slovenia)
- 8 from Western Europe (Amsterdam, Austria, Barcelona, Berlin, Edinburgh, London, Milan, and Munich).
On the day of the final itself, out of these 20 companies, prizes were awarded to:
- 2 from North America (PercentMobile and CloudMade)
- 1 from Israel (Waze)
- 2 from Baltic countries (TaxiPal and Bipper Communication)
- 2 from Western Europe (fonYou and Layar).
But another way to answer this question is to look at the view of the influential publication Fast Company. They’ve just published a list of the world’s ten most innovative companies in the mobile industry.
What kind of geographical breakdown would you expect in Fast Company’s list?
90% of the list are companies headquartered in the USA:
- Google, Apple, Amazon, Ford, Evernote, Qualcomm, Clearwire, Foursquare, Intermap.
Only one entry on the list is headquartered outside the USA:
What should we make of this fact? Here are three ways to think about it:
- Fast Company, immersed in activities in the US, is suffering from myopia (short-sightedness)
- It’s smart marketing by Fast Company. As Matt Millar suggested: Fast Company is a US mag, read by US people. So tell them the US is great, they buy more
- The lion’s share of the greatest mobile innovation really is happening in the USA, and the rest of the world should wake up and recognise that fact.
If the third explanation is the right one, perhaps I should seek my next employment in the US.
I’m reminded of the marvellously thought-provoking picture produced a couple of years back by Rubicon Consulting, of how Internet companies view the mobile industry: