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Tomorrow the Startup Weekend Bay Area Mobile edition kicks off at the AT&T Foundry.  While tickets to the event are sold out, those of us unable to attend in person can still get great insights about the mobile industry as well as learn about the activity and energy of the event by following the SW Bay Area blog.

In preparation for this week’s Startup Weekend Bay Area “Mobile,” I had the express pleasure of “talking shop” with one of the Weekend’s mentors, Tom McLeod.  In addition to being a music aficionado of sorts (he started the media production company MTerrace Inc. and the DC based record label Heavy Syndication), Tom is President and Co-Founder of Imaginary Feet, a web and mobile app idea factory. The company’s latest development is Crosswalk – a new website bringing social to the mobile app experience.

AS: When did you first experience the “entrepreneur bug”? What was your first endeavor?

TM: My first endeavor was actually selling snap bracelets in 4th grade. I partnered with a kid who could draw names using bubble letters and we made custom snap bracelets with our fellow students names on them. My mom was my first angel investor buying us a 30pack of neon bracelets to get our business off the ground.

AS: What lessons did you learn from that experience and how has it affected your decision making process now?

TM: I think it was probably the first basic understanding of supply and demand, supply chain economics, and that working with a partner is hard, especially when they’re the talent!

AS: What inspires you about entrepreneurship and innovation?

TM: I like problem solving, even when the problems are small. Entrepreneurship is all about problem solving. No one ever made a product that didn’t attempt to make an improvement in the way humans relate to the world around them. I’m always inspired by the way different minds solve the dilemmas of the world.

AS: What are 3 “hot trends” in tech that you think will be getting attention in 2012?

TM:

1. Nearfield Communications

2. Mobile apps taking a larger role in media right next to books, movies, and TV.

3. Streaming everything.

 AS: The upcoming SWBAY event focuses on mobile…what are your thoughts on this exploding industry?

 TM: It’s the way we’re heading right now as a collective entity. The freedom to have your data, personal connections, and communications with you at all times levels the playing field for everyone. If 2011 was the engagement 2012 will be the bachelor party, wedding, and honeymoon.

AS: In your opinion, why does mobile matter?

 TM: Freedom. Mobile means information everywhere for anyone. It’s not just about the devices, it’s about the infrastructure that gets built around it. Longer batteries, Internet everywhere, constant data access…these make it easier for everyone to do more then check movie times. They can find refugee camps, healthier food options, and cheat at scrabble. All extremely important.

AS: The upcoming SWBAY event focuses on mobile…what are your thoughts on this exploding industry?

 TM: It’s the way we’re heading right now as a collective entity. The freedom to have your data, personal connections, and communications with you at all times levels the playing field for everyone. If 2011 was the engagement 2012 will be the bachelor party, wedding, and honeymoon.

 AS: Of course we have to ask…what mobile devices do you use? iPad, iPhone, Android?

TM: Love my iPad, iPhone, and my Original Kindle.

 

Interviewed by: Ahmed Siddiqui, Coordinator, Startup Weekend Bay Area

To connect with Tom or Crosswalk, check out:

http://www.crosswa.lk

http://www.facebook.com/crosswalkapp

http://www.twitter.com/crosswalkapp

About Crosswalk

Crosswalk (www.Crosswa.lk) is the best tool to discover the iPhone apps that are most important to you, and your network. Friends, colleagues, and influencers let you know what apps they are using, and help you have a richer mobile experience.

About Tom McLeod

Tom McLeod is President and Co-Founder of Imaginary Feet, a web and mobile app idea factory. At Imaginary Feet, Tom oversees the direction of the company and their seven successful applications and services for work and play, with a particular focus on the company’s latest development Crosswalk – the new website bringing social to the mobile app experience.

Prior to Imaginary Feet, Tom started the media production company MTerrace Inc. and the DC based record label Heavy Syndication. For these companies he served as Founder and CEO where he was responsible for the daily operations, client relations, and much of the functional creative and technical work. Tom graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Audio Technology and a minor in Computer Science from American University. His many interests include classic films, basketball, and making mixtapes for his daily commute.

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