SAN FRANCISCO — In an opening session at Open Mobile Summit, Trip Hawkins – a storied Silicon Valley entrepreneur best known for founding Electronic Arts – tantalized the audience with a surprising observation: “Convenience trumps performance,” he said.

Focusing on perfection just may be counterproductive in an era of speed, he suggested Tuesday at this confab of leaders from cellular carriers such as Sprint, retailers such as Walmart, payments innovators such as MCX, and traditional payments companies such as American Express.

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“Customers give up performance to get convenience. We accept tremendous declines in quality,” said Hawkins, who pointed to the shift from landline phones to cellular phones and also the quality degradation in shifting movie viewing from a theater’s big screen to a handheld device.

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