Interview: MoDev East’s Pete Erickson

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Pete Erickson

Pete Erickson

Author’s note: I had the privilege of asking Pete Erickson, founder of MoDev and Disruptathon, about the upcoming MoDev East conference on December 12-13 in McLean, VA. Here’s what he had to say:

Andrea: Can you describe MoDev East for anyone who hasn’t been?

MoDev East is a mobile conference in its third year. It is at the Gannett and USA Today Conference Center December 12th and 13th and it’s a conference that has mobile development as the centerpiece but then includes all things around that as well. It has 4 tracks—enterprise, UX, marketing and mobile development. There’s also a hackathon that’s going to happen during the course of the conference starting Thursday morning extending all the way through Friday evening.

We like to bring together a real mix of professions and people to our conferences. We find that creates a really interesting, fun environment, a lot of creativity. A lot of really great connections happen when people meet that are from different aspects of the development ecosystem. So, MoDev East is a collection of really smart people from several different disciplines all focused on mobile.

What’s in store at MoDev East this year that’s new from the previous years?

What’s in store this year is really an expansion of the content. We have 4 tracks going this year. We’ll do enterprise and UX on Thursday the 12th and we’ll do marketing monetizations and development on the 13th. I think what attendees are going to see is an explosion of content over the previous year, 120 speakers this year versus maybe 35 or 40 speakers the previous year.

I think that it’s an interesting time right now. We’re going to see people touching on wearables. We’ll see people touching on the internet of things and a lot of the trends that are happening right now, trends that we see like Snapchat. Where is this coming from and where is it headed? We see companies like Snapchat get offered $3.5 billion and turn it down. There’s something happening in that space. And the fight for those users is really amazing.

One thing that can be certain is all the companies that we know about today and hear about at MoDev East, there will be ones that are household names next year that we haven’t heard about yet. And if you look at this year, what’s interesting is, you know companies like Snapchat and others that we didn’t know about a year ago. There’s always something new and exciting in mobile.

We like to say mobile is moving way too fast for any one individual or any one company to keep up with. So, MoDev’s mission is to connect people with the information they need, not because we know what the information is, but because our peers oftentimes are learning about things just as fast as anybody else. We try to spread that knowledge in a peer-to-peer manner and that’s really what MoDev East is all about.

So, come learn about the industry by folks that are just like you working hard to advance whatever causes they are working on. Chances are every individual out there knows something new, unique and interesting about development or tools that others need to hear about. We are always encouraging people to become thought leaders. Don’t just be a coder, don’t just be a UX expert, don’t just be a designer, get out there and teach what you know because it’s important. It’s also a great way to learn.

What are you personally most looking forward to for this upcoming MoDev East?

For me personally, I get a lot of enjoyment out of bringing smart people together. So, I’m looking forward to hearing from a lot of really smart people on both the main stage and in the breakouts. And also being lucky enough to be the one to connect a lot of people, and knowing that we have a hand in creating lifetime lasting relationships that can build businesses. I look forward to the event more than I look forward to any single talk, although I can tell you that there are a lot of really interesting talks that are going to be happening at MoDev East, very compelling, cutting-edge, from smart people. I look forward to hearing them, but I really look forward to being a party to connecting smart people and then seeing where that leads.

Want to learn what’s cutting-edge in mobile development? Join other UXperts at MoDev East.

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