By @SimonCocking

Monty Munford @montymunford Founder of agency Mob76, writer for The @TheEconomist, @Forbes, @Telegraph, @mashable. Ex-Bollywood villain, Arabist… Always gets parking tickets.

Mob76 great mix of topics, eclectic even, with a great team, and #54th most read. What’s the goal, if there is one, of it going forwards?

That’s very kind of you to say so. I’m not sure there is a particular goal, except carry on publishing and see what happens. It’s probably worth a few quid, but any offers to date have been a little underwhelming. I suppose it’s a timing thing and if the price is right.

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What tech trends are you excited about at the moment?

Well, it’s certainly not apps and crowdfunding. I can usually tell when something has jumped the shark and that’s when press releases on the same subject start to accumulate and annoy me. So it is with apps and crowdsourcing campaigns.

Drones, fintech, iOT and health are usual suspects. Also the happenings in Africa across the continent are the most awesome of all. Chat networks that aren’t WhatsApp or SnapChat are also very interesting.

You are often away, covering really interesting parts of the world, that don’t always receive as much coverage as they could. How do you decide what you will cover, and where you might go next?

It’s just a judgement call, I suppose. I accept less than 20% of invitations, so I must have a filter somehow. Usually it’s because of the people who are presenting or the current stance of a city or a place where it’s happening. I’ll go anywhere in Africa though.

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Back in Dublin in the spring you were a bit meh (as in Larry David) about social media, twitter and others too, in terms of the value for you in engaging with it. Do you still feel that way, or otherwise? Why? 

Yes, pretty much. It was exciting and new when it emerged, but people have to put out a lot of content and questions nowadays to get real engagement. I still love Twitter, but it all feels a bit stale, but there’ll be something new along soon enough. Maybe, I’m just anti-populist and a bit of a digital snob, but a lot of people are, especially in my game.

Overall are you optimistic about humanities ability to find tech solutions to the big issues we’re facing – food / water security, global warming etc?

Blimey, what a question. I think I am, but the current exodus from the Middle East doesn’t seem to be particularly benefiting from technology. The Big Ideas will probably eventually sort us out, but the immediate challenges make take some time.

Life / work, online / offline, what’s your strategy for managing the potential to have people trying to communicate with you at all hours?

I work for 7.5 hours a day in three 2.5 stretches. The time I do that depends on calls, attitude, creativity and energy. Email is still pretty key for me.

Will we see you at the Dublin Web Summit? What tips would you give people to get out of large events like this and other similar ones you’ve attended?

Not sure yet. I’ve been invited and I’ve never been, but I may have a conflict. I’ll probably leave it until the last minute to decide… and will consequently be hotel-less and will stay on an abandoned boat on the Liffey.

Anything else you’d like to add/ we should have asked you?

I reckon you did alright.

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