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Category Archives: Interviews

Apple Dots Its Privacy ‘I’s In iOS 9, While Google Appears To Back Pedal

[Originally posted on AdExchanger, September 1st, 2015]

The debate around privacy – and where Google stands – is kicking up on the eve of Apple’s upcoming September launch of iOS 9.

Why? Because though advertising revenue hardly tickles the bottom line at Apple, its decision to enable content blocking in iOS 9 affects how Google’s developers monetize.

Apple’s content-blocking feature allows developers to create extensions that block cookies, images and trackers. Apple also is implementing a security and encryption provision in iOS 9 called App Transport Security (ATS) that will require developers to use secure communication – known as TLS, or transport layer security, the successor to SSL – between their apps and web services.

Continue to read the full post here

Interview: The Way Forward for Native Ads

Here is a little video interview I did while attending VentureBeat’s Mobile Summit 2014. The focus is on how my company NativeX got into creating native monetization tech for games, and what needs to happen to see native monetization scale.

NativeX Launches New Video Ad Format

Sponsored Post

Introducing a new Mini Multi-Offer ad format “Triad.” Triad combines the latest mobile video ad technology with NativeX’s industry leading selection of native advertising formats to give users the choice of which ads to engage with. Triad joins the NativeX Discovery Suite to give developers the right ad format to optimize strategic placements in their apps for a more native experience with higher impact.

Read the Full Post Here.

See Video:

Hangout with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak on the Role of Government in Entrepreneurship

I don’t spend a lot of time as a founder thinking about the government’s role in creating a thriving entrepreneurial community. I had the opportunity yesterday to participate in a panel moderated by Steve Grove, in charge of Community Partnerships for Google+ along with the Mayor of Minneapolis R.T. Rybak and two others to ask the Mayor questions and to share ideas on building stronger community support for entrepreneurship.

INSTANT MBA: Stop Being a Perfectionist And Pay Attention To Customers

[Originally posted on Business Insider November 14th 2012]

“Owners of new products or new businesses really need to guard themselves against over investing themselves in a certain  concept. Otherwise they run the risk of really burning too much energy on  something that has no real opportunity to succeed.”

When entrepreneurs focus solely on their idea and get too attached, they lose  sight of what customers want. If you’re constantly working on perfecting your  idea or product, you become disconnected from customers because there’s no time  to check in with them for validation that you’re actually meeting their  needs.

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Interview with Minnov8 Gang– App Store Trends & What’s New At W3i

During my November 9th, 2012 podcast with the gang at Minnov8, we discuss App Store trends that are impacting developers such as the recently launched Windows 8 and changes caused by iOS6. We also discuss what’s new at W3i and touch on local tech events like Startup Weekend Twin Cities 4 (“SWTC4”).

Check Out the Minnov8 Podcast Here 

What Does Apple’s New iPad Mean for Marketing?

[Originally posted on ClickZ March 7th 2012]

“The biggest impact for marketers will be LTE support. This will dramatically increase internet speeds and result in the ability to create much more engaging app experiences,”

2011 In Review: Interview with PocketGamer.biz

[Originally posted on PocketGamer.biz December 26th 2011]

Kicking off our period of industry reflection on what happened in 2011 and what might happen in 2012 is Rob Weber, senior VP and co-founder of NativeX.

The US company is an iOS and Android app discovery and distribution outfit, which works with developers and publishers to launch and promote free games and apps.

PocketGamer: What do you think was the most significant event for the mobile games industry in 2011?
Rob Weber: Over the long term, I think we’ll look back at Amazon’s launch of its first Android-powered device, the Kindle Fire, as the most disruptive event that occurred in 2011 for mobile gaming.
Why? It signifies the first credible threat to the iPad for tablet market share, and it presents a massive future opportunity for game developers given how many credit cards Amazon has on file.

What was the most significant event for your company?
AppX, the $10 million cash extension of our Recharge Studio fund for accelerating the growth of mobile social games.

What was your favourite mobile game of the year?
I love what our partner Appy has done with SpellCraft School of Magic for iOS. It’s taken the freemium model and made it fun, and also brought a more RPG-style game to the masses by utilising wizards, spells, etc.
As for a game we haven’t been involved with, that’s hard since 16 of the top 25 grossing iOS apps are currently partners. I suppose I’d have to say Halfbrick Studio’s Jetpack Joyride.

What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2012?
One trend that will start to have a real impact on mobile game developers’ bottom-line for 2012 will be the widespread adoption of cheap Android tablets, led by the Kindle Fire.

What’s your New Year’s resolution and what resolution would you enforce on the industry?
My New Year’s resolution would be to start playing more games on my Android phone. I still spend almost 100 percent of my time playing games on iOS devices.
The resolution I would enforce on the industry is to stop over-hyping things, and start getting back to the basics of what really drives long-term business growth.

W3i Launches Recharge Studios Fund and ‘Dolphin Play’ Game

W3i, one of the most successful Internet startups ever in the state of Minnesota, has launched Recharge Studios, which is both a mobile app launch fund for game developers and an app publishing business — and also the first product of that unit, a social game for the the Apple iOS platform called “Dolphin Play.” The announcement was recently covered by several sites, including Inside Social Games, 148Apps, and Pocket Gamer. (More below on what it all means for Minnesota developers, in the words of W3i’s Rob Weber.)

The St. Cloud, MN-based W3i, founded in the late 1990s by the three Weber brothers — Ryan, Rob, and Aaron (the latter has since left to launch another startup) — now has some 70 employees, boasts 33 consecutive quarters of profitability, and is on an annual revenue run-rate in excess of $30 million. CEO Andy Johnson added big-company experience when he joined the company a few years ago, having run the Internet business of Fingerhut, before that company was acquired in 1999 for $1.7 billion by Federated Department Stores. W3i’s business is all about helping app developers increase their user base — read: get more downloads. Until recently, that primarily meant Windows desktop apps (more than 400 million app installs to date). But, in the summer of 2010, W3i made a significant entry into the mobile app distribution business (iOS initially, natch) with the launch of its Apperang business.  (Minnov8 coverage here.)”

[Originally posted on Minnov8 December 24th 2010]

Interview with Michel Kripalani, Founder of Oceanhouse Media (Sourced)

“When it comes to driving your app up the rankings chart in the App Store, make sure you have the following two tactics in your corner: discounting and press.

Smart App Marketing’s Rob Weber talks with Michel Kripalani the CEO of Oceanhouse Media about what it takes to deliver hit after hit in the App Store.

Oceanhouse Media publishes e-books and mobile games based on famous characters from Dr. Seuss, the Berenstain Bears and Rudolph to name a few.

The publisher is a media darling, having been featured in both national press and top tech press including: The New York Times, CNN Money, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, FastCompany, Wired and cnet.

Thanks to iPhone/iPad DevCon for press access at the 2010 San Diego conference.”

[Originally posted on Smart App Marketing November 30th 2010, along with my video interview of Michel]

W3i Starts a Fund to Lure Facebook Developers to iOS Gaming (Sourced)

“It’s not uncommon to hear social game developers complain that Facebook is becoming too difficult to build on, and that mobile development looks attractive as an alternative. But will they actually move? A Minnesota company called W3i hopes to help push more social developers into mobile with a fund and publishing group Recharge Studios.

Recharge is planning to invest a minimum of $1 million for outside studios to make social games for the iOS. To sweeten the pot, Recharge only wants a share of iOS profits in return — in other words, it won’t ask for an ownership stake in the company or launches on other platforms, like Android.

“Because you can acquire consumers relatively cheaply, mobile is like the early days of Facebook gaming,” says W3i cofounder Robert Weber. “We think it’s a great opportunity for developers on Facebook, especially if they’re feeling squeezed out.””

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