WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, Waze's Di-Ann Eisnor, Fon founder Martin Varsavsky and head of Google for Entrepreneurs Europe Eze Vidra were in Barcelona this week. For the Mobile World Congress, sure, but in reality they all spend a lot of their valuable time at another event.
They were at a successful inaugural edition of Four Years From Now (4YFN), a side-event to Mobile World Congress organized by Mobile World Capital Barcelona that put the focus squarely on mobile entrepreneurship.
Evidently, I also spent the majority of my time at 4YFN, participating in a panel about the 'future of journalism' (hope I didn't say anything stoopid) and meeting with people I find more interesting than any telco executive or smartphone salesman: founders and early-stage startup investors.
I'm sure the Mobile World Congress has a lot of value, but I'd simply rather listen to the likes of Yossi Vardi, Morten Lund, Airbnb's Nathan Blecharczyk and the pitches of budding entrepreneurs.
I'm not the only one who thought the real innovation was to be found at 4YFN, and I sincerely hope the organizers get to take their time to turn it into an even bigger and better event celebrating mobile entrepreneurship and transformation for years to come.
Our photo essay on the Mobile World Congress can be found here.
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