You’ll likely remember earlier blog posts that I’ve written around the Apps For Good program. The format is changing a bit in 2012-2013 to more formalize the experts program. There are now over 100 schools across the United Kingdom taking part, and last year, I had the distinct pleasure of having three wonderful individuals – Margaret Hanlon, Dominique Schreier, and Leila Thomas – serve as mentors. Last week, I visited the most northern school in the program, Wick High School. This is one of three schools taking part from Scotland, and there are 45 kids currently enrolled in the program. It was terrific to see that there were probably just as many girls taking part as boys.
You don’t have to be an expert in mobile technology to join the program. The kids have tremendous ideas, and they are simply looking for someone to hear them out, make suggestions, and provide encouragement and guidance. (more…)
I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight a couple of really great stories out there in recognition of three tremendous leaders we have at Thomson Reuters: Rick King, Susan Taylor-Martin, and Deirdre Stanley. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal recently honored 11 of the top Information & Technology Officers, and our very own Rick King received the career achievement award. I’ve attached a pdf of the entire story here for you to read.
I love the way this article starts: “Rick King didn’t aspire to become a top technology executive at a $14 billion company when he started his career as a high school math teacher. He was busy coaching school football and baseball teams, serving as a hockey referee and hoping he’d eventually become a school superintendent. It wasn’t until he landed an administrative job as a director of computing services that he started on the path toward a career in technology.”
The work that Rick and his team are doing to achieve our vision for platforms and scale in 2020 are critical to the success of this company. The savings that this team achieves become real investments back into organic development efforts. The article is well worth reading, and it not only gives you insight into the path that Rick took in his career, but also gives a great glimpse into Rick’s community involvement. Congratulations to Rick on this recognition!
The second highlight is one that has been promoted on the blog, but I wanted to again bring it to your attention if you haven’t had a chance to read it. (more…)
I’ve been dedicated to the mobile space for 2 1/2 years now. In that time, the most common question I hear, by far, is: “what OS should we be building our app for?” Sadly, it’s the hardest question to answer! I’m not going to try and answer the question here – as it’s all but impossible on a generalized basis. However, hopefully I can give you a couple of data points and considerations to help you answer for your product yourself.
Before that, though, a quick shout out for the mobile web. There’s a reason we like it so much! You can, to a large extent, dodge the question of platform choice and you’re not subject to the vagaries of your OS/app store vendor.
Putting that aside, here are the main considerations: (more…)
What a difference a week makes. Like many of you, I watched the London 2012 Opening Games ceremony just over a week ago – interested, amused, perplexed at times, and always on the lookout for our colleagues that were a part of the event. I wasn’t sure just what to expect in London after coming off a very relaxing holiday and having to get straight back into the craziness that had been projected in the city. The way the newspapers had been going on, it seemed like Armageddon and the Millenium hype all over!
I was prepared for anything on arrival Tuesday into London – and what I found is what everyone else is finding as they spend more time in the City. London is working just fine. I had no wait at immigration. The train into the City, the taxis, and the Tube have all been working well. What’s more, I found myself completely wrapped into the spirit of the Olympics. I came without any tickets to events, and did manage to buy one for the beach volleyball on Friday night (a great party – and after spending almost 3 hours on the tickets website!) and watched the cycling portion of the women’s triathlon after completing my own morning run at Green Park. (more…)
We just launched the Reuters 2012 Olympics app – this has truly been a labor of love, collaboration, hard work, and fun. I remember when I first proposed this idea last fall to some of our colleagues in New York and London following a meeting I had taken with the CIO of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). I would really like to thank the London team for their “go-for-it” attitude.
Reuters has fewer rights it can exploit – specifically with regard to video content. We’ve had to be very clever to think about what we can show, how we can show it, and how we can think about using some interesting pieces of technology to give the app some unique capabilities. The app was built by our recently acquired Apsmart team, led by Rahul Powar. You’ll see some very cool features that they’ve included in this app including pinch and zoom infographics on certain pictures and sharing of images on AppleTV. We targeted only the iOS platforms out of the gate for one big reason: it enabled us to collaborate with Apple’s user interface evangelists and deepen the working relationship we have with them. Some great work was done by our preferred external design agency Great Fridays (who also did the UI work on Convene) in partnership with Marine Leroux and Daniel Lewington from our side. (more…)
There is a really great article in the current Leadership Issue of Reuters Magazine titled “The Made-In-China CEO” written by Senior Company News Correspondent, Terril Jones. The article looks at the two types of CEOs which now dominate China’s business landscape: the traditional state-owned-enterprise leader who generally favors a lower risk strategy, and the “No-School CEO” that’s big on innovation and opportunity.
Zhang Yue is the featured CEO of this latter category who isn’t afraid to dream big and bold. His goal is to address the challenge of resource consumption and to make the world a more livable place in spite of increasing numbers. Some have dared to call him China’s version of Steve Jobs. After reading the article, I’m not sure I buy into that completely, but you can see that he retains many of the classic “Jobsian” attributes: focus, passion, and drive to see the vision become reality.
Zhang is a leader by example as you’ll see from the article. One of the things that I found quite interesting is that (more…)
On Friday, June 29th, the Barbican Centre in London hosted the 2012 Apps For Good competition finals. The Apps For Good program teaches young people how to come up with and deliver mobile and Facebook applications that can make a real difference in the lives of us all. According to the Apps For Good team, there are currently 40 partner schools engaged across the UK, impacting over 1300 students. What’s more, over 100 schools and institutions are waiting to be involved!
I am unashamedly proud and thrilled to lead our Thomson Reuters efforts. This past year, we directly sponsored three schools in London financially and with tremendous mentors. We didn’t stop there. The kids use the Google AppInventor program to create prototype versions of their idea on Android, and when Google decided to sunset the program and transfer it to MIT, the handoff was not clean. In fact, the kids were going to come back from their Christmas holidays with a system that wasn’t ready. I suggested that we would have a go at standing up the platform, and one of my mobile team members, Kevin Zimmerman in San Francisco, made it happen. I personally wanted to do more, and I was very fortunate to be able to do 2 hour Skype calls each month with different schools across the UK – and even visited one that will always be near and dear to me – Nelson Thomlinson in Wigton, Cumbria.
At the end of the program, there is a wonderful competition that takes place. Teams submit their work to a panel that creates a short list in several sponsored categories. The short list consists of two teams that come to London to present in a “Dragon’s Den” style competition in front of 5 judges. Thomson Reuters sponsored the Information category, while other major companies involved in sponsorship included Dell, RIM, and Barclaycard. Some of the ideas are just amazing. The kids in the program range from 12-17 years old, and here is a sampling of some of the projects: an app that helps you build confidence and work through tough times with motivational messages and critical help if you really hit a low; an app that lets you personally and privately monitor with your teacher your reading progress in books to prevent feeling badly for not understanding what you’re reading; and an app that lets you create visual notecards for studying for exams along with a community where you can share and reuse those notecards with other students. (more…)
Once again, we have partnered with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to develop this year’s British Tennis App. As the official statistics and information partner to the LTA, we are delighted to have played a part in bringing UK tennis fans all the action from this summer’s grass court tournaments via this exclusive App suitable for iPhone and Android devices.
The App is free to download and will provide live scores, results, breaking news, and the latest player images straight from the courts. In addition, users will be able to watch video from the three major events this summer – the AEGON Championships, the AEGON Classic, and the AEGON International and improved functionality this year means the App now includes live weather updates so that fans can plan their viewing.
Thomson Reuters’Global Tennis ambassador and former British No 1, Greg Rusedski will be giving round-ups and analysis of the action from the AEGON Championships, which will be uploaded every day throughout the week.
Robert Schukai, our Global Head of Mobile Technology said this about the updated App: “We have once again collaborated with the LTA to help develop the 2012 LTA Summer Events App, this truly is an App for real tennis fans in the UK. At Thomson Reuters we specialise in the exchange of information and so to be involved in creating an App which we feel really benefits fans of the game has been an extremely satisfying process for all parties involved.
“As the official Statistics and Information Partner to the LTA, Thomson Reuters is constantly striving to help tennis fans stay well informed throughout the summer of British tennis; this year’s App hosts the most relevant news, live scores, video and even live weather updates to help fans plan their tennis viewing either on site at a tournament or watching on television or online.”
To download the App for free, go to the Google Play or Apple App store and search “AEGON Tennis” or “LTA”. For more information on the App please click here.
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. (more…)
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and Thomson Reuters have teamed up to provide the premier opportunity for UK technology companies to demo their products at South By Southwest Interactive.
We will be hosting UK Demo Day on Sunday, March 11th, The event will be hosted in Ballroom B in the Hilton Hotel’s “Startup Village.”
UKTI and Thomson Reuters scoured the United Kingdom to bring you the best of British tech. Following a competitive application process, UK companies spanning the digital genre have been selected to demo their cutting-edge technologies for the tech-savvy attendees of SXSWi.
Time: Sunday 11 March 2012
Invitation-only from 3:00 pm to 3:30pm / All badge entry begins at 3:30 pm and continues until 6:00 pm
Location: Hilton Hotel at Startup Village