Apsmart Joins Our Team

Today, Thomson Reuters announced the acquisition of Apsmart, a London-based mobile design firm.  I think this was a tremendous move on the part of the company for a number of reasons.

First, I think that this acquisition speaks to the reality of the world today.  Very soon, there will be more mobile phones on the planet than people.  Wherever I go, whatever I do, I am constantly connected through my mobile devices.  So are you.  That connection exists in both our personal lives as well as our professional lives; in fact, our late head of research and development at Thomson Reuters, Dr. Peter Jackson, framed our lives as a “work-life blur.”  Mobile technology is at the heart of this.

Second, creating uniquely personal experiences is something that mobile does incredibly well.  The founder and CEO of Apsmart, Rahul Powar, created the very first Shazam iPhone application – a product built on a very simple premise:  what’s that song playing on the radio?  Shazam remains one of the most downloaded applications of all time, and one of the things this acquisition does well is indicate the importance that Thomson Reuters is placing on the user experience.  In an increasingly mobile world, it is paramount that we create a tremendous user experience that goes along with the world-class information our users consume.  Mobile devices are not desktop computers, and as such, mobile products need to provide real relevance to the user given their device of access.  It’s fine to give a user a huge screen of data when they are seated at their desk.  With mobile, that information needs to be tailored to the specific user workflow; you have to make tradeoffs given the smaller screen, and thus, it forces one to think about what’s most important to convey to the user.

Lastly, I’m thrilled about this acquisition because of the location of the team.  London is just brimming with terrific creative talent.  In my secondary role as ambassador for the Tech City initiative to New York and the east coast of the United States on behalf of the British government and UK Trade & Investment, I see it every time I visit London.  The mix of art, fashion, music, film, and technology is producing fantastic companies and wonderful products.  The talent in London (much like New York) is very well-rounded and exposed to these different industries which creates perspective and creativity that I love to see.

You can certainly expect to see some terrific products coming as a result of the acquisition, and I look forward to sharing more with you in the coming months.