Keen On…. Ed Schmit: Can AT&T Really Innovate?

One of the most interesting events at CES earlier this week was the AT&T Developer Summit which not only featured a guest appearance from a fist pumping/back slapping Steve Ballmer, but also a really impressive hackathon for over 150 young developers.

An AT&T hackathon? Next thing you know, Techcrunch will be manufacturing tablets.

So the first thing I asked Ed Schmit, the Director of AT&T’s Developer Program, is about innovation. Can you both big and clever, I asked him. And is it really possible for an old dinosaur like AT&T to reinvent itself as a nimble innovator in today’s fast moving digital economy? Yes and yes, Schmit answered. AT&T is particularly committed to radical innovation, particularly in the medical and energy sectors, he explained, where security is critical and thus developers have to work with the AT&T’s highly secure APIs. As Schmit added, AT&T is making serious investments in innovation partnerships, especially in their Foundry developer centers in Texas, Palo Alto and Tel Aviv.

Next up will be my interviews at CES with the three winners of AT&T hackathon. And not one of them, I promise you, were wearing either a suit or a tie.