Thomson Reuters announced last Friday that it is acquiring the London-based mobile platform developer Apsmart for an undisclosed amount. Apsmart founder Rahul Powar was the creator of the first Shazam iPhone app that is recognized by many as one of the top innovative mobile apps created for the mobile industry. So, what does this mean for Thomson Reuters? It means more innovation for WestlawNext and the ProView eReader platform for starters, and it would appear that the company is very serious about investing in the “small screen” world of mobile technology.
In the press release, Powar sounds as if he is being given some “artistic license” to bring in some new ideas to what Thomson Reuters can do in the mobile environment:
The team at Apsmart is excited about the opportunity to apply our diverse mix of skills to the large Thomson Reuters customer base. We look forward to helping drive the strategy and creation of significant new experiences in mobile across the organization.
Let’s hope that Thomson Reuters lets Powar and his team run with limited oversight and introduce products that are creative and allow for the freedom users expect with mobile devices. My concern whenever ingenuity meets established business models is that the culture of the business trumps the fresh ideas of the developers. We’ll have to see how this all works out. I’d be really interested to see if Powar stays on for any length of time, or if the culture of the giant Thomson Reuters world runs him back to the more flexible world of mobile app start ups.