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Stanford Center on Longevity Selects Winners of 2015-2016 Design Challenge

For the last ten months, we’ve been honored to help the Stanford Center on Longevity promote and launch its annual Design Challenge. Created to encourage students from around the world to design new products to enhance a long and happy life, the Center recently announced the winners of 2015-2016 Challenge, which was featured on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. To assist with the Challenge, we managed SCL’s social media channels including its Facebook page, helped last year’s winners write about their design on PSFK, expanded the Challenge’s roster of expert industry judges, conducted outreach to the press, and arranged for the finalists to visit the nearby Google campus. It was exciting and inspiring to attend the final pitch session at Stanford earlier this month, and we were impressed that the finalists pitched their designs better than many startup CEOs pitch their companies.


Read about all the Challenge finalists on the Stanford Center on Longevity’s site. Like them, we expect and hope many of them will go on to become real products and services which benefit us all.

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Our CEO Vanessa Camones Speaking at Clinton Global Initiative University This Weekend

We’re very proud to announce that tMa founder and CEO Vanessa Camones will be a speaker at Clinton Global Initiative University this weekend. Held on the UC Berkeley campus, this three day event is hosted by President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, with keynote speakers including luminaries like civil rights legend John Lewis, talk show host Conan O'Brien, and Salman Khan of the Khan Academy.

Vanessa’s session, “Beyond Diversity: Inclusion and Empowerment on Campus” is on Saturday from 10:30am-11:45am Pacific. The session will develop effective recruitment and retention programs for African-American, Hispanic-American and indigenous populations -- not only on campus, but in the workforce as well. One of the few Latina CEOs in Silicon Valley, Vanessa has long been an advocate of improving diversity in the high tech industry, a topic we’ve promoted at an SXSW panel, in a forum we hosted and sponsored, on for numerous guest posts she’s written on VentureBeat and other outlets.

Vanessa will be live Tweeting from the event as much as possible, so please follow her tweets at @vanessacamones.

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SEWORKS and Scientific Revenue at GDC

Last week, the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco featured a talk by Mary Min of our mobile security client SEWORKS, explaining what to do when your mobile game's being pirated in Asia. GDC also featured Mary’s video pitch for her talk across their social media channels:

Also during GDC, Gamasutra featured a new Expert Blogger post by Bill Grosso, CEO of our mobile game monetization client Scientific Revenue, explaining two key pricing strategies:

For increasing revenue, developers should make in-app purchase price adjustments to virtual currency (i.e, coins, gold bars, etc.), but generally speaking, not for virtual goods (powerful weapons, armor, etc). For increasing user engagement, we recommend making price adjustments to what players can buy with that virtual currency -- i.e., virtual good

Read the rest here. And follow us @themixagency for more updates and opinions on the latest news in tech!

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AdWeek Interviews Vanessa Camones About SXSW - Meet Her There This Weekend!

Adweek's article today, "Why South by Southwest—in Its 30th Year and More Branded Than Ever—Still Matters", features Vanessa explaining why she continues recommending SXSW to Silicon Valley colleagues:

[V]eteran attendee Vanessa Camones, founder and CEO of theMIX agency, agreed. "People ask me, 'Why would you still go? What's the benefit for you?'" said Camones. "The reason—part of it anyway—is that if you are a startup and you're in media or digital and you need to find partnerships and you want to get closer to brands and you want to understand how that ecosystem works, SXSW is probably the best place to do that." 

If you're attending SXSW this weekend and you'd like to meet Vanessa there, please tweet at her @vanessacamones!

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MWC 2016 Post Mortem: Where Mobile's Not Everything

It’s been customary for me to make the yearly pilgrimage to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress (MWC) for what feels like a decade. It’s one of the few mobile shows where real business happens -- deals get signed, partnerships blossom, and more importantly, sets the stage for where the mobile business is headed for the rest of the year. It still surprises me how many people in the Valley who are focused in mobile don’t participate. As someone who not only lives and breathes the mobile ecosystem but has built a marketing agency around it, not attending isn’t even a consideration. Year after year it’s proven to be a worthwhile investment.

Anyway, enough about that, GSMA is not paying me to do their PR. On the business front, there were many hot topics people were talking about -- mainly security, 5G, virtual reality and the devices we play with everyday. VR/AR in particular really dominated this show -- Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg outfitted an entire auditorium hall making a picture tell a story like nothing we’ve seen in a long time. The Dystopian Future we all read about in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World has finally arrived.

On a lighter note, but just as creepy, I got the chance to talk with “Pepper”, a robot assistant. The brainchild of Aldebaran (a Softbank company) I couldn’t help but want to reach out and give it a hug. I tried to chat with it, but as you can see in my video, Pepper might need a hearing aid. Everything presented at MWC, regardless of the type of product, all about connected devices, showing how smart they are, and how easily you’re going to adapt to them. You could even hear it in Pepper’s voice -- filling a void for loneliness or companionship. In essence, devices like these continue to push our boundaries and emotions, even our comfort zones. They offer a brand new way to experience life, but also take away from part of our humanity.

Regardless, the “future” has arrived much, much sooner than most of us thought. And that has created an impasse because... *drumroll* we’ve created all these amazing “SMART” everything devices. Yet, even with their intelligence, very few can talk to each other, maximize each other’s data, and deliver truly connected and meaningful experiences. And so although MWC 2016 focused on the theme “Mobile is Everything”, mobile has been everything for a decade. And while we can all oooh and ahhh and watch the press just salivate on stories about IoT (which to me is false advertising), Oculus, and even Pepper, it’s still going to be a long road on the software side before we make the progress needed to really benefit from these devices as meaningful, connected aspects of our daily lives.

Hope to see you in Barcelona in 2017.

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