My Favorite Interviews

I’ve had the great pleasure of interviewing over 70 mobile entrepreneurs (and counting) since I started and each one of these interviews have imparted some valuable lessons, tips, tricks, suggestions, do’s and don’t’s for all of us to learn from.

Here are a few of my all-time favorite sessions – ones that I find myself going back to more that a few times.

Let me know what your favorites are and why as a comment below or at untether(at)gmail(dot)com

The state of the mobile world (and some augmented reality) with Chaotic Moon CTO whurley
Why? whurley is dynamic. This interview lasted far longer than any other I’ve done and we were just getting started. This is one of those conversations that clicked, we got along immediately and, although there was an agenda, we moved off of it 2 minutes in. The result was a free-flowing, insightful conversation that I am so thankful was captured.

How to leverage a personal brand to build a company with “Heroes” star Greg Grunberg, co-founder of Yowza
Why? Imagine my surprise when he actually showed up! Greg Grunberg is Matt Parkman on the television show ‘Heroes’ so I wasn’t even expecting him to show up but he did and what resulted was a great UNTETHER session. I was immediately struck by his desire to do this company right (YOWZA!) and create a stream of income outside of his Hollywood roots. He’s a down-to-earth guy and I felt this was a strong testament to the diversity in this business.

How an economics major partnered with a physics major and built an app that has been downloaded over 6 Million times — With Eddie Marks and James Anthony of Inedible Software
Why? Eddie and James are awesome. Two guys who have learned how to be partners in a business and grow it through trial and error. The conversation was effortless, smooth and fun. I think we only hit the tip of the iceberg in this hour-long session and, trust me, there is much more in them and I hope to get them back on to continue this conversation soon.

Bringing music to the masses one iPhone at a time with Ge Wang from SMULE
Why? SMULE is a revered company in the mobile application space and this session was a slight departure in content from the others. I was more interested in the concepts behind the apps they have developed than the marketing/selling of them (although we did touch on this quite a bit). His goal of democratizing music making is fascinating which is why this session will always rank as one of my favorites.

Why mobile is an unsolvable Rubik’s Cube — and that’s a good thing for entrepreneurs — according to Adenyo’s Kevin McGuire
Why? Kevin is an expert business builder and a mobile marketing master. We did this session early in the morning and he was, as always, sharp. What I loved about this session was his enthusiasm for the mobile space and the fact that we are just at the start of what is going to be a monumental shift in business, marketing and sales.

Breaking down the carrier barrier by selling simplicity with CellWand CEO, Nick Quain
Why? Nick’s company has fought the hard battles with the carriers and is now a trusted partner. What small company has done this? He’s also one of the smartest guys in the business — you have to be to survive as a business for 10 years in this totally insane and always-changing world of mobile and wireless. Every time I sit with Nick I learn something and this session is no different.

How extended their service on to smartphones with Marc Gingras
Why? This session was effortless — Marc and I connected from the pre-interview all the way to the end. He’s a smart and focused guy and the lessons he’s learned building the mobile versions of his web service are balanced with the lessons he’s learned in business. Another one of those interviews that spends a good amount of time on how to build a business and he’s got some great advice.

Don’t run when your provider becomes your competitor — differentiate! With Mark Pavlidis and Brett MacLean, co-founders of Tweetagora
Why? Mark and Brett. Period. These guys are great to talk to, the dynamic duo of Twitter apps for your iPhone. I liked this one in particular because of the timing (Twitter had just bought Tweetie) and their take on it (GREAT!). When you are looking for people to interview it helps if they have personality and both of these guys do. This one was much more of what I want to be — a great conversation about this industry.

Case Study: How to launch the New York Times Crosswords to the mobile world — the 2 year (+) overnight success with Jeff Bacon of Magmic
Why? Jeff Bacon is one of the smartest guys in the mobile industry. Secretly, this was our second attempt at this session as the first one, after 90 minutes of GREAT conversation, was lost (let that be a lesson to you video podcasters out there) — I ran out of hard drive space (rookie mistake). We did it again the next night and it turned out even better — we were more rehearsed and to the point. If Jeff is unknown to you, he won’t be for long.

Case Study: New Jersey Nets + Gowalla + Sam Taggart = VaynerMedia rewriting the book on location-based marketing
Why? Because what they did with the New Jersey Nets is AWESOME! C’mon, it may be common now but the combination of Gowalla and VaynerMedia to help fill seats in New Jersey was an incredible marriage. Sam Taggart is another one of those guys that conversation flows with — just don’t mention the Jays/Phillies World Series. A confession about this interview…I kept on saying “New York Nets” at the beginning until Sam emphasized that they were, in fact, the New JERSEY Nets…I edited out every time I said NEW YORK, see if you can find them 🙂


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