A great quote at the VLAB panel

Earlier this week, I participated in an MIT-Stanford VLAB event entitled “Introducing the Seventh Sense: Location Awareness”. The VLAB is a volunteer, non-profit organization promoting the growth and success of high-tech entrepreneurial ventures by connecting ideas, technology and people. From my own experience helping out as a volunteer at Mobile Monday NY, I know how much effort it takes to produce these events. Congratulations to Hironmoy Paul, Gigi Wang, Celeste Cooper, Chai Geller and all the other volunteers for putting on a great one.

Sam Altman, CEO of loopt was the speaker and his presentation was a rapid fire summary of the opportunities, issues and applications around location awareness, in the style of Dick Hardt or Lawrence Lessig.

As a panelist, I was in some distinguished company, including Rick Witham from Nokia, Jodi Sherman Jahic from Voyager Capital and Russ McGuire, Head of Strategy at Sprint.

Rajeev Chand, Director of Research at Rutberg & Co was a great moderator and he mentioned a great quote in passing which has lodged itself in my mind ever since. A client of his who had spent a number of years in the LBS market once said:

We always knew we were going to get the hockey stick curve with location based services, what we didn’t know was that we’d have to ride down the handle to get there.

So true. Nielsen Mobile (ex Telephia) says that “51% of the $118m mobile downloads market consists of LBS applications”. Is this the end of the handle? I think so.