Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Billion-Dollar Turning Point for Mobile Apps
Published: NYT April 10, 2012

In my exec ed. class and practice, I talk a great deal about the importance of REALLY understanding the context or system you and your customers (and competitors) “live” in. It is more than instructive to see the impact of a market whose context is in the hyper change mode.

"The path for Internet start-ups used to be quite clear: establish a presence on the Web first, then come up with a version of your service for mobile devices. Now, at a time when the mobile start-up Instagram can command $1 billion in a sale to Facebook, some start-ups are asking: Who needs the Web.
Smartphones are everywhere now, allowing apps like Foursquare and Path to be self-contained social worlds, existing almost entirely on mobile devices. It is a major change from just a few years ago, underscoring how the momentum in the tech world is shifting to mobile from computers.
“For decades, the center of computing has been the desktop, and software was modeled after the experience of using a typewriter,” said Georg Petschnigg, ….“But technology is now more intimate and pervasive than that. We have it with us all the time, and we have to reimagine innovative new interfaces and experiences around that….
…..“People are living in the moment and they want to share in the moment,” Professor Sundar said. “Mobile gives you that immediacy and convenience.”…
….Start-ups that put their resources into mobile from the beginning can skip some of the hassles. “You’re freed from worrying about so many of the things that you have to think about when it comes to Web development,” said Oliver Cameron…
… Then there is the relative ease in finding an audience. Web sites and software packages have trouble standing out in the crowd. But apps have a simple distribution mechanism in app stores, which can immediately bring an app to a customer’s attention."

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