The Mobile 15: Our picks for the most innovative companies

14 Comments

Waze

CEO: Noam Bardin

Number of employees: 90

The business:

Waze is a crowd-sourced traffic app that uses anonymized data from users’ phones to paint an accurate picture of traffic conditions. Users are able to further contribute back to the community by sharing live reports on conditions.

The backstory:

Waze grew out of a hack by Isreali Ehud Shabtai, who used crowd-sourced data to map out his country’s red-light cameras. The effort turned into a larger mapping project, which became Waze in 2009. In 2010, the company debuted in the U.S. and later moved its headquarters to Palo Alto.

The innovation:

Waze effectively turned millions of smartphones into moving real-time sensors that fed back data into a larger network. The service leveraged the concept of social network in which everyone provided a little data for the good of the entire community.

The plan:

Waze is now trying to create more benefit for users who join the Waze social network. It has created a gas-finder service that lets people find exclusive discounts on gas. Waze is looking at more partnerships with retailers that will offer deals to its users.

—RK

14 Comments

Jim M

Including Nokia and **not** Qualcomm renders your list laughable, and from the entire staff to boot ? No need reading any further and further questions the value of anything Gigaom.com?

Jim M

DJ

With Windows 8 just around the corner its bizarre that Microsoft didn’t make the list.

Alphonse

Alcatel – Lucent and Nokia? You’ve got to be kidding me…Why not add RIM and MySpace too..

Surya Narayanan

Sadly you have not looked at the emerging markets hard enough. You would have found very interesting examples including Safaricom’s m-pesa which is by the larger than Western Union Money Transfer. Please look to create a more inclusive list..

mobithinking1

It would have been good to consider the social impact of innovations. There are so many innovative mobile companies out there, but if they don’t make people’s lives better then do they really answer the “so what?” test. M-PESA is a great example of a mobile innovation that has changed millions of people’s lives and is helping to create a vibrant mobile ecosystem. Its influence can be seen in every mobile wallet/banking/payments initiative the world over.
If you don’t know M-PESA, read this: http://mobithinking.com/country-guides-home/guide-mobile-web-kenya

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