If you’ve been exposed at all to the North American mobile technology scene in recent years, the name Noah Kravitz will mean quite a bit to you. And if you’ve been obsessing over the very latest gadgets, specifically on YouTube, you’ll probably have come across the pleasingly bald, friendly chap that is Noah.
Noah rose to the heights of fame as the legendary “PhoneDog” — arguably one of the largest independent mobile technology websites on the planet during the growth of mobile in North America.
If you recall I spent a lot of time in San Francisco and the wider Silicon Valley during this period. Android was bubbling away but we’d yet to see any meaningful handsets. The promise of a mobile world driven by Steve Jobs was just beginning to assert itself.
Noted luminaries were already (and, mistakenly in my view) proclaiming the Valley as the ‘centre of mobile’. Investor attention into the world of apps, gaming and all that jazz was slowly awakening.
Handset launches were beginning to get jazzy. I very much enjoyed visiting America with the latest Nokia handsets and lording it over the leading bloggers.
“Yes, this is the new E61,” and “Yes, look at my multimedia computer [Nokia N95], … and by the way, it won’t be launched here for AGES.”
Back then, Nokia was everything. The centre of the mobile world was — without a single doubt — Espoo, Finland.
As America began to obsess over mobile and begin to swap out their RAZRs, the legions of geeks and fanatics feasted on everything and anything they could find. One of their key leaders was Noah from Phonedog. He was the chap who got every handset first to unbox, alongside his colleagues at the likes of Intomobile, Engadget and the like.
I was first introduced to the chap by Michael Selvidge, one of the most connected PR and comms dudes in the Valley (now Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Twilio). I’m indebted to Michael for connecting me as I really enjoyed meeting and hanging out with Noah. I was particularly impressed walking about the likes of CTIA or various different handset launches and seeing him having to deal with the fans.
Noah specialised in straight-to-camera pieces describing handsets, services and products in such a relaxed, considered and approachable manner that he grew a huge, huge fan base particularly on Twitter.
I used to see Noah at all the big events — especially when he and his crew would descend on the likes of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
After Phonedog he looked beyond mobile and became Editor in Chief of Technobuffalo, retaining a foot in the mobile world but expanding his features to home entertainment and related technologies. His easy on-screen manner made him a favourite for the TV networks. Every time Apple sniffed, Noah would be rushed to the studios of CNN, CNBC or similar to make sense of the latest rumours or vague announcements. I used to enjoy watching his segments whenever I was in the States.
Noah and his colleagues grew Technobuffalo’s following, particularly on YouTube, into the multi-millions. For Noah, it was time for a break. I’ve occasionally witnessed and experienced the amount of work it takes to constantly deliver (on a near real-time basis) continual updates on the tech and mobile world.
He took a break from media and began consulting with a number of high profile tech firms, specialising in helping them understand their audiences and craft the brand message correctly. As well as the front-end elements, Noah was increasingly involved in the design and innovation element, helping the tech teams at the big manufacturers parse the raw feedback coming in from multiple channels into usable insight.
I used to enjoy hearing the sorts of things he’d fixed or influenced whenever we caught-up.
Recently as he evaluated the next step, he mentioned he was heading off to Nokia, right about the time the Microsoft acquisition closed. I wasn’t surprised. It’s a good move.
So Noah has now joined the Nokia Developer Network [or, should we be calling it ‘Lumia’? Well, the as yet unnamed ‘devices’ division].
As Noah explained in a recent tweet to his network, he’ll be tending to developer.nokia.com and working with the increasingly large developer relations team. I’m looking forward to seeing what Noah can achieve with the team there.
If you’re thinking about porting over to Windows Phone and looking for some assistance, definitely check out developer.nokia.com but if you’d like a warm intro via Noah, drop him a note on Twitter and tell him I sent you.
Good luck Noah!