Mobile Monday began with a blog post by Alessandro Pace in 2005 which sparked a small gathering in a bar to discuss the idea of a new type of networking event in Boston. In those days, downtown Boston was a wasteland for technology startups with the action happening along the suburban 128 Corridor and Waltham where the old mini-computer companies and early venture capitalists had been centered. We started Mobile Monday around the same time as David Beisel’s Web Innovator’s Group and it picked up a spark of excitement among young tech people living in the city.
With that modest beginning, the momentum grew. Over the years, we hosted over 70 free events with over 10,000 people attending, started a non-profit 501(c)(3), raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorship money, and coordinated events across the country. During all our history we were a group of unpaid volunteers (all sponsorship dollars went straight back into the organization). It was thanks to the hard work of people like Kevin Wiant, Janelle Suckley, Ronda Billings Morra, Itay Sharfi, Maggie Taylor, Kate Imbach, Alessandro Pace, Tom Schmidt, and many others that we were able to scale the organization.
Here are a few highlights over the years.
April 3 2006: Our first event held in a classroom at MIT Sloan. I bought a cheese plate so we’d have food. Our speakers presented the state of the art in mobile browsers: Nokia S60 Web Browser and Flash Lite with Flex.
2007: The Google team gave us a sneak peak at the first release of the Android SDK (they claimed it was the first public demonstration ever, and maybe it was).
2008: Thanks to Kate’s savvy, we persuaded an Apple Store employee to let us hold a party for the new iPhone SDK. Rumor was that they got in trouble with Apple’s secrecy enforcers.
2009: Thanks again to Kate, we hosted Governor Deval Patrick in the Fairmount ballroom.
2010: We hosted Mayor Menino to talk about the City of Boston’s first mobile app.
Over those years, the mobile industry went from a nerdy niche to a hot space. We were pulling in hundreds of people for each event and sometimes 700 or more. There were still relatively few technology events to compete for people’s attention and mobile hype was at it’s peak.
Fast forward to the present, and we’ve slowed the pace of Mobile Monday events. Today there are a plethora of technology networking organizations in Boston hosting more events and meetups than you can count. The demand gap for events that Mobile Monday filled is now well supplied by others. At the same time, the mobile industry no longer exists as a distinct entity. Mobile has become a core part of technology stacks and is woven into the fabric of everything from customer interfaces to internal operations.
For this reason, we’ve spent the past few years doing a lot of healthcare-related events. These events have been fun to do, they bring together a great crowd with focused interests, and there’s the chance that they help contribute something to the larger public good. We’ll keep you posted as we go down our evolving path.
For anyone who’s interested, I’ve included below the history of Mobile Monday Boston events*. The registrant number is for people who signed up for the event, with typically 30-50% of registrants showing up for the event. We never did an accurate job of counting actual attendees.
|Mobile Monday Boston (February 5th)||2/5/07||113|
|Mobile Monday Boston (March 5th)||3/5/07||110|
|Mobile Mondays Boston (Mon April 9th)||4/9/07||110|
|Mobile Monday Boston (Mon May 7th)||5/7/07||71|
|Mobile Monday Boston (Mon June 18th)||6/18/07||101|
|Demo and Networking Event||7/16/07||69|
|Mobile Monday Boston (Mon Sept 17th)||9/17/07||110|
|Mobile Monday Boston Feb 4th 2008 Nokia Research Center||2/4/08||71|
|MoMo iPhone SDK party||3/24/08||302|
|Mobile Marketing and Advertising (Mobile Monday May 2008)||5/5/08||344|
|Browsers — Driving the Web, or Driven by the Web? â€“ Monday June 30th 7pm||6/30/08||185|
|Boston’s Most Successful Mobile Entrepreneurs||10/6/08||484|
|Mobile Around the World: MIW Reception Featuring Opera CEO Jon von Tetzchner – Wed Oct 22nd 6:30pm||10/22/08||61|
|Early Stage Mobile Companies||11/17/08||384|
|Compelling Mobile Business Models||1/12/09||540|
|Mobile Monday and MIT Mobile||4/6/09||530|
|Boston Mobile Company Demos – Featured Speaker Governor Deval Patrick||4/27/09||622|
|MM Silicon Valley: Location-Aware App Demos||5/4/09||362|
|Mobile Monday & MassMobile Developer’s Meetup||6/15/09||181|
|MoMo on the patio of the Grand Canal – July 27th||7/27/09||185|
|Mobile Advertising for Apps and the Mobile Web||9/30/09||443|
|Mobile Monday and TCN: Making money through carrier and OEM app stores||10/19/09||373|
|Developers Meetup Jan 25th – Mobile Monday, MassMobile, and DrinksOnTap||1/25/10||264|
|Mobile Monday Boston UK vs. US Mobile Demos||3/8/10||465|
|Mobile Monday Party at CTIA||3/24/10||260|
|Mobile Financial Services||5/24/10||190|
|Evening of Mobile Startups at the MIT Museum||6/7/10||722|
|Mobile Monday & BostInnovation – Summer Block Party||7/22/10||780|
|An Evening with Google and Android||8/16/10||199|
|gdgt After Dark||9/22/10||400|
|The Realities of Mobile Advertising||10/4/10||425|
|Mobile Monday networking event at CTIA â€“ sponsored by Nokia||10/7/10||600|
|ShutUp & StartUp Weekend||10/22/10||393|
|Mobile Monday – City of Boston Launch Party||11/8/10||564|
|Mobile Monday Demo Night at Park Plaza||1/31/11||545|
|Mobile Camp: A Mobile Monday Saturday Event||2/19/11||740|
|March Mobile Networking with Mobile Monday, DrinksOnTap, MassMobile||3/28/11||287|
|Enterprise Mobile Event||4/11/11||646|
|MoMo Boston MIT Museum Mobile Showcase||5/9/11||750|
|Building Successful Mobile Web and Native Apps in the Enterprise||10/17/11||644|
|Mobile Monday Labs – Android Development||3/5/12||200|
|Mobile Pitch Challenge 2012||4/23/12||590|
|MIT Museum Showcase 2012||6/25/12||760|
|Mobile Monday Labs – Mobile Design||9/10/12||383|
|Mobile Monday Demo Night||10/1/12||420|
|Trends in Mobile Investment||11/5/12||372|
|Mobile Marketing and Advertising||1/14/13||999|
|The Mobile Enterprise Industry||2/4/13||514|
|Mobile development across platforms||3/4/13||498|
|Tablet Commerce: Fad or future?||6/10/13||294|
|Big Data in an Increasingly Mobile World||7/1/13||222|
|Boston Mobile Summer Party||8/5/13||1355|
|MIT Museum Startup Showcase||10/8/13||1244|
|Mobile Marketing, Brands, and Media||1/13/14||598|
|The Steady Growth of Mobile Payments||3/10/14||434|
|Mobile Healthcare 2014||5/5/14||600|
|Mobile Internet of Things 2014||11/3/14||350|
*After 2014 we switched to a new registration system and I haven’t dug up those records yet.