Last week closed with the first MoDevEast, a two-day meetup for mobile developers, marketing professionals, and managers at the USA Today headquarters in McLean. Five tracks ran concurrently on Friday, which included a Disruptathon. Day one concluded with a keynote address by Rich Kilmer, LivingSocial’s Vice President of Research and Development. Kilmer challenged us to think differently. His premise: Changing your perspective can lead to innovation. A Hackaton followed on Saturday.
I had the pleasure of meeting one of the 10 Disruptathon finalists prior to their presentations. You never know with whom you’re talking when you casually meet the guy sitting next to you in a lecture bowl. It turns out I sat next to Kevin Yarmosh of Savvy Apps. Kevin developed Chicken Coop, a creative iPhone game about a sleepwalking chicken. A full-time employee, Kevin developed the app during his spare time. I got a personal demo and downloaded the app while we were talking.
Kevin, and others like him, is one reason MoDevEast is so important. The event opens the door to big thinkers across disciplines. Interactions enhance attendees’ innovative and creative thought processes. By the way, Kevin won best presentation at the Disruptathon. FastCustomer swept all of the other categories, which included uniqueness, design, disruptive potential, business model, and most ‘liked.’
FastCustomer has iPhone and Android apps that enable consumers to avoid phone tree limbo. The app links you directly to a customer service rep via a callback feature. FastCustomer says they have already saved 100,000 users more than 1 million minutes (or two years) of time on hold.
Another presenting company that caught my eye is Share With 911. Currently in beta, their goal is to enhance the sharing and distribution of emergency-related information using the Web, mobile devices, and social networking. An aging 911 infrastructure has not yet integrated with modern technologies. The company’s app makes it possible to use your Smartphone to share location, text, photos and video with 911 and first responders.
Thank you to Pete Erickson for fueling the creative economy by bringing together the best and brightest in the development community. Thanks also to event sponsors including Cynergy, USA Today, Point About, LivingSocial, Socialize, and SpeakerBox Communications. For a full list of sponsors, please visit MoDevEast.
Photo: From Disruptathon