This will be the first time, after five consecutive years, I’m not making the trip to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. A perfect storm, as it were, has conspired over the last week here and finally came to the ultimate conclusion that it’s just not going to be possible for me to attend. Certainly I could just leave it at that.. those who know me, will know I’m always game and therefore accept I must have had significant cause to pull the plug. However, along with that comes the personal feeling, as a courtesy, to offer some explanation.
So.. where to begin. The travel cost alone, while not prohibitive at about $2k, with several painfully planned dates and flights – intl. and domestic – is not the main cause. The suprising issues (twice) with apartment rental, booked and then reneged by greedy private owners also not a deal breaker – but was continued additional challenge. The fact that GSMA, via their 3rd party at Liberty Comms, refused my press pass after several email exchanges (knowing others who are Clearly.Not.Media were approved) was rather WTF shocking.. especially since I’ve been accredited by the IOC and ITU, let alone for MWC going back to 2007. Whatever, have some connections who made immediate and generous Gold Pass arrangements for me instead. And while much has been said about the impending strike, rather ironic that the so-called “Mobile World Capital” will not even have an operating public transit when it hosts global delegates, it’s of little matter as we usually walked or grabbed a cab anyway.
Obviously there were several important planned meets there as usual, a sudden clear window in the typical trade-show chaos schedule may well prove to be a blessing for some, many follow-ups now in order. I always really enjoy the chance to catch-up with family and friends from Mobile Monday etc. community as well, we have plenty to talk about and I’m pretty bummed to miss our annual mash-up. Trust all will muddle through, with an extra couple shots and toast to those who could not join, look forward to see ya somewhere ‘out there’ yet later this year as possible. I was expected to join a panel discussion – therefore would have been on the Big Screens – an awesome opportunity and total shame that will not happen this time = Sorry David.. Many Thanks for your kind and thoughtful invite. I had also planned to spend some workshop time after congress with the great crew at HyperIsland and was totally jacked about being there, together with good friend and uber-talented Alan Moore, to dig into that super atmosphere. Perhaps will be 3rd time lucky, if they ever talk to me again, as had hoped to be there last year. I’ll certainly miss having UmeShu with WWJ partner Daniel Scuka in Frankfurt.
Suppose the intent of overview above is to make clear I had multi-mission and keen desire to make the trek. That said, several personal and professional issues here put the annual adventure beyond reach. Leaving the family matters aside, sure most accept such considerations are always important, we have several issues to solve in short-order on the business side. While I’m def. used to running and gunning, however the scale and importance of requirements on the current cycle is more critical than usual and simply could not balance the risk of being ‘distracted’ overseas with several new impending deadlines.
At the same time, we are leading into 1st anniversary of the 3.11 disaster in Japan and projects related to efforts in Tohoku are increasingly part of my focus. On the up-side, expect to see some silver lining results here in the near future! Meanwhile, as they say timing is everything – and this time, I have to be here. It was a most difficult decision and in the end an unavoidable conclusion.. come what may.