CT-SPIN #84: SPINJam – Native vs Cross-platform for Mobile Development

Mobile continues to be a huge area of opportunity and challenges, especially in South Africa. And it’s not just about phones anymore: featurephones and smartphones are being joined by tablets, phablets, TVs and games consoles, bringing us an ever-increasing range of screen sizes and capabilities.

Like any question worth discussing, the answer to “Native or Cross-platform for Mobile Development?” is “It depends.” This year’s SPINJam aims to have a frank and open discussion around the options and approaches available, and the pros and cons of each.

The format of the SPINJam will be similar to last year’s inaugural event: we will have a panel of 4 people, with a facilitator to lead the discussion. We’ll begin with a few minutes from each of the panellists to put forward their take on the topic. This will lead into an open floor discussion lead by the facilitator.

Topics may include:

Panellist Profiles

Richard BarryRichard Barry

Richard is a director at Polymorph Systems, a mobile development company that specializes in native smartphone app development.  He has a passion for solving problems in a way no one has thought of before, innovative ideas and high quality software with a great user experience.   Before he started dabbling in mobile development, he worked as a software engineer on various other interesting projects, including building satellites and radar systems.

Wilter du ToitWilter du Toit

Wilter is a serial entrepreneur that is passionate about business models and innovation. His key focus is to generate new business models to disrupt existing industries and to then iteratively validate them through execution.

He previously founded Yeigo which was one of the first mobile VoIP companies to launch a solution into the enterprise mobile VoIP space. He formulated the company strategy and vision and then recruited two co-founders to aide in driving the company forward.

Subsequently Yeigo raised angel funding and grew the company to 12 employees. He exited the company in October 2008 after a majority share was acquired by another company.

Currently Wilter is serving as CEO of Virtual Mobile Technologies, a mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP) backed by Mvelaphanda Group.

Andy VolkAndy Volk

Andy Volk is the VP of Developer Relations for Mxit, the Stellenbosch, South Africa-based social networking company, and Africa’s largest social network.

His early startup experience includes inventing and launching Live365.com in 1999, which grew exponentially to become the Internet’s second-largest broadcaster with over 2.7 million annual tuning hours. More recently, Andy was the VP of Product at Kongregate (acquired by GameStop, NASDAQ: GME), a social gaming destination and community site for gamers and game developers, powered by a strong advertising network and virtual currency platform.

Andy has led a range of pioneering web products over the last 13 years, including products at Yahoo! (music, video-on-demand, video player platform, and video search), LOYAL3 (direct-to-consumer company stock purchasing via Facebook), and Scour.com (Internet broadcasting and peer-to-peer technology).

Andy is also the founder of Downtempo, an Internet product development and strategy firm located in San Francisco, whose client projects have included work for MTV, NASA, Craigslist Foundation, SpotXchange, LACMA, and GLOBE.gov. In addition to their client work, Downtempo incubated and launched its own in-house projects, including “Is It Safe To Visit?”, the world’s first travel advisory search engine.

Richard ArcherRichard Archer

Rich is a web designer, Front-End developer and UX consultant, working on a diverse range of web and mobile projects, with a bias toward writing semantically rich markup and unobtrusive javascript to produce beautiful websites. He works at Unboxed Consulting.

Rich’s specialties are HTML5, CSS3 and javascript development, especially jQuery and Node; Photoshop, Illustrator.


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Wednesday, 21 November 2012, 18h15
Bandwidth Barn’s NEW location,
3rd Floor,
Block B
66 Albert Road,
(Corner Albert Rd and Station St)


This old industrial buildings in Woodstock is getting a revamp. The lift and stairs to the Bandwidth Barn are in the underground parking in the South East corner of the building at the corner of Station Street and William Street. Parking is on Station St, William St, and around the venue.


Anyone is free to attend. Please RSVP at http://ctspin84.eventbrite.com/. Alternatively, RSVP by sending YES or MAYBE via our contact form.


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