5G infrastructure is being installed around the world. At the same time, most people have not yet seen what 5G can offer. What exactly is 5G? How will it improve our lives? What are the concerns that need to be addressed before it is widely adopted?
In our series, called, How 5G Technology May Improve and Impact Our Lives, we are talking to tech and telecom leaders who can share how 5G can impact and enhance our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jenny Crook.
Jenny Crook is the Vice-President of Mobile Solutions at Jellyfish and has a decade of mobile marketing experience. She is an app specialist working with major global brands, helping to drive app growth and engagement.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Looking to blend creativity with data and numbers, I studied media extensively while attending university. After graduation, I joined a London advertising agency where I could do some exciting work with Google. At the time, the conversation around apps and mobile as a new marketing channel was heating up, and I found it fascinating. I also quickly identified apps and mobile marketing as tech’s “new wave” and decided to target mobile as an emerging area to pursue. Choosing this path was one of the best decisions I made, and I have enjoyed every moment of my career for the last nine years.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
After some time working for various agencies, I moved client-side, utilizing my expertise and curiosity at the time, to work for a startup company. Working for a startup was certainly thrilling as I was looking forward to building on my skills and contributing to their growth from the ground up; however, it didn’t work out that way. I realized the company didn’t have a solid employee-focused culture, meaning, experience and ideas brought in with each hire weren’t seen as valuable. Unfortunately, I didn’t stay with the company long. Looking back, I don’t regret my time there because it empowered me to be more of a self-starter. It also demonstrated for me the importance of company culture and creating a positive work environment. Success occurs when people feel empowered, not criticized.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
There is a quote that continues to realign my path when I am feeling unsure, scared to take a risk or when I am learning from a setback, “Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.” When you are looking to grow in your career or life in general, you have to look at an experience and ask yourself what you’ve learned, what value the experience brought you, and what of that experience was not significant in the grand scheme of things. Then, like falling leaves, you have to shake them off and move forward.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Fortunately, more than once, I’ve had the opportunity to work with people who have taught me invaluable lessons. My former boss, James Bott, was one of the founders of The ASO Co., an App Store optimization agency that Jellyfish acquired. He’s one of the first people I’ve worked for who is a staunch supporter of female leadership. He understands, and gender doesn’t play a role at work; he’s entirely focused on the skills and experience brought to the table.
I also have a former colleague, Grace Temporal Sorabji, whose role focused on people and company culture. She introduced new initiatives that helped employees show their strengths and get to know each other. Currently, she has a coaching business, and I speak with her once a month. I’m a firm believer that everyone should have a coach to help them look at the big picture and recognize the barriers we sometimes put in our way.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Resilience — Like everyone, I’ve had a few setbacks along the way, and you have to be able to push through them. For example, I remember doing a presentation in front of a significant group years ago and completely blanked on stage for the first time. I felt awful about it for a while but then realized I needed to give myself the grace to figure out what went wrong, learn from it, and move on.
Remaining Outcomes Focused — Whether at work or in life, I like the feeling of striving for improvement. I compete in CrossFit and weightlifting, so I’m regularly training to test my own physical and mental abilities to get faster and stronger. That focus transfers well to work, where I use the confidence I’ve built to prepare for a presentation or a big project.
Stay Curious — Curiosity is something that drives me as well. When I find something fascinating, I often find myself Googling for hours to learn more about the subject matter. Additionally, I enjoy asking questions, getting lost in the experience of finding answers and learning something I didn’t know when I started.
Are you working on any new or exciting projects? How do you think that will help people?
We’re working on our app launch product to provide a list of services and products that will help support small businesses that want to scale quickly. Helping small business owners is a cause that is close to my heart. We’re using our specialty service to help make startups successful.
Ok wonderful. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Like 4G, 5G has many different facets, and I’m sure many will approach this question differently. But for the benefit of our readers, can you explain to us what 5G is? How is 5G different from its predecessor 4G?
5G is the next generation of wireless networking, and it’s a considerable jump up from 4G in terms of speed and capacity. Most 5G networks are built on super-high-frequency airwaves known as a high-band spectrum that transmits data quickly. As a result, 5G is nearly 100 times faster than 4G in simple numbers, enabling consumers to experience more immediate download and upload times. Capacity comes into play when many people are utilizing the same network at the same time. We’ve all experienced the frustration of slower data speeds during times of network congestion. With increased capacity, 5G will nearly eliminate this problem.
Can you share three or four ways that 5G might improve our lives? If you can please share an example, for each.
In-app development, the main point of good service is to make sure apps can function when users are out and about. If you’re checking TikTok and you want to scroll through videos, solid network coverage is not a nice to have. We’ve all experienced the times when you can’t use data, get maps to load, or upload an image to Facebook; 5G will allow for faster connections, enabling greater downloading and streaming capabilities.
From a brand perspective, enhanced connectivity means users can consume more content, which helps businesses. Small businesses primarily depend on social media apps to reach potential customers; 5G will prove instrumental in driving their success.
Emerging markets are more likely to be mobile-first users globally, so 5G improves connectivity in those markets while lessening the need for WiFi.
Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this 5G technology that people should think more deeply about?
As people become digitally connected through 5G, more content is being generated and stored. So we need to think about data centers, which have emissions and involve a cost. It’s essential to make sure we’re not completely maximizing storage on a device and then obtaining a new device, which increases cloud storage and the cost to maintain it. There must be a focus on data recycling, archiving, and deleting.
Some have raised the question that 5G might widen the digital divide and leave poor people or marginalized people behind. From your perspective, what can be done to address and correct this concern?
It’s a valid point. However, many people will be replacing their mobiles with new ones that support 5G, which means more expensive tariff costs to the consumer. What if someone can’t afford to upgrade their device, and how long will it be before they are forced to upgrade to remain connected? We need to think about why we are creating an environment where everybody has to “opt-in” to maintain connectivity.
Excellent. We are nearly done. Let’s zoom out a bit and ask a more general question. Based on your experience and success, what are the 5 things you need to create a highly successful career in the mobile space? (Please share a story or example for each.)
Embrace Curiosity — I’m a big believer in feeding the insatiable need to learn how and why things work the way they do. There are always new developments and constant change; you need to be able to follow along.
Continuously Problem-Solve — In technology, it’s essential to start at the end, thinking about the consumer and what implications your project will have for them. How will their user experience be? What problem are you addressing for them, and how does your solution address it?
Remain People Focused — Look at the whole user, including the factors outside of the immediate problem-solving. How will your product help consumers in general? How will it impact marginalized populations? Again, it’s critical to study the different mindsets involved.
Remain Open-Minded — We’ve all had to learn how to pivot both in work and life. Being open to a new way of working on a project can allow for endless possibilities. Likewise, as a professional, be open to the ways you can develop yourself and your career, whether it’s seeking guidance from a mentor, coach, or networking with peers to stay at the forefront of your industry.
Persevere Despite Roadblocks — Sometimes, progress or change happens slower than you expect, which can impact your motivation and confidence. It is ok to have a change of pace sometimes; what’s important is to keep persevering despite the setbacks.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
This goes back to sustainability within the tech industry. I would create a movement where companies pledged to regularly promote their hardware and cloud storage sustainability while developing energy-efficient products and tools made of renewable materials. More now than ever, people are starting to care about how things are made and their effect on our environment for the short and long term.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
LinkedIn: Jenny Crook
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.