If You’re Not “Mobile First,” You’re Last

In addition to the Shake ‘n Bake, Ricky Bobby had one thing right: we’re living in a winner takes all world.

Mobile has changed the way we live and increasingly is changing the way we work. Users want and expect information to be easy to interact with and consume whether that’s a text from Mom or an expense report from their employee. They live in “micro-moments,” consuming smaller bits of data more frequently across their day, rather than sitting for marathon sessions in front of a laptop.

What does this mean for you as an ISV? Massive opportunity. With this shift in device usage comes huge demand for mobile apps in the enterprise. While you can find an app to draw a unicorn horn on your friends (a personal favorite) on the App Store, there are still hundreds of mainstream categories in the enterprise that remain untapped. Customer surveys, recruiting, learning management; name the category and I bet you can come up with a mobile use case yet to be addressed.

It’s a bit chicken and egg but this shift in device usage has also changed the way developers build their applications. Instead of building a browser-based app first and their mobile app as an afterthought, developers are taking a “mobile first” approach and designing around the unique capabilities that the device delivers (eg. camera, geo-location). Not only is this leading to better apps, but it is also creating entirely new categories and markets of applications.

Think about a website like Craigslist which was revolutionary when it first launched. I love Craigslist. I sold my first couch on Craigslist; I found my first apartment on Craigslist but what would their “website” look like if they launched it today? Well first off, it wouldn’t be a website, it would be an app. And second, it would leverage features like location to find other sellers/buyers in your area, it would leverage your camera to upload pictures of items you want to sell, and it would connect to social networks so you could easily forward listings to your friends or glean more insight on the reputation of a seller. In leveraging the native capabilities of the mobile device, Craigslist can forge deeper connections with its customers and ensure they come back again and again.

Already have a browser-based app? No need to shutter your windows. Your challenge is to adopt beginner’s mind. Take 2 hours and sketch on a piece of paper what your app would look like if the end user could never access a laptop. Hire a summer intern or run a contest amongst your newer employees to dream up what your app would like if you were 100% mobile. Sure you might get some ideas that are entirely out of scope or budget but you also might come up with features (and revenue opportunities) that you never would have uncovered before.

Join us next week as we kick off our exciting Summer of Mobile series designed all around how you can build a bigger business with mobile. We’ll deliver content from leading VCs, developers, partners and designers on key considerations when building mobile apps for the enterprise.

It’s a winner takes all opportunity in that those who define these new app categories, will own these new app categories.   The time for mobile is now and we want to get you across the finish line…first.

Register now for the Summer of Mobile Webinar.

Published
June 21, 2013
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If You’re Not “Mobile First,” You’re Last