When is innovation truly innovative? When it is a success.

It’s hard to pinpoint what makes something a success. Walking around the halls here at Mobile World Congress you see many new shiny gadgets, products and people clamoring to show you the latest service offering. However, not all of these make it beyond Barcelona. So, how can you tell when an offering is innovative and has potential to survive, and when not?

Today we attended TechCrunch@Barcelona, hosted by Mike Butcher and Helen Keegan. Aimed at giving the mobile startup ecosystem a chance to be heard during what is the biggest mobile conference in the world, around 150 mobile enthusiasts got together to share their thoughts. Some of them were true startups, only recently launched, and others were veterans with plenty of experience.

Panels featuring companies such as Waze (crowdsourced navigation for your iPhone or Android device available in real-time), Telesocial (bringing mobile voice to the social web), venture capitalists and technology service provider Alcatel-Lucent discussed the following topics:

–       The need to go where the users are – in this case, on to the mobile. All innovations that want to be heard beyond #MWC12 need to be functional and available to the end-user on their mobile device. And there needs to be proven potential, whether generated by revenue or by user demand.

–       Operators can be slow to react to innovative developments. It’s important to have a back-up plan or know how to adapt an innovation to make a business case to the operator or whoever you’re selling it to.

–       At the same time, many startups overestimate the importance of their technology when pitching to a big corporate – there needs to be a good understanding between the corporate and the startup as to what constitutes a successful innovation.

While we cannot claim to be a startup, we focus on innovations and how to deliver that next-generation secure and convenient experience. From NFC, M2M to LTE and more, we not only demo innovative technology at #MWC12 but can also showcase credibility. It’s an exciting time to be in the mobile ecosystem, especially as it expands out into other sectors – retail, banking, transport, etc – and we look forward to many more successful innovations from startups and existing companies, old and new.

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