Mobile first, web firsterBy http://profile.typepad.com/1237764140s22740 // October 16, 2012 in Startups
Two recent articles to compare and contrast:
- Chris DeVore's masterful "The consumer app boom was loud, but the enterprise echo will be louder" post from his blog last week; and
- John Cook's interview of Sidelines founders Vinay Kuruvila, Arka Ray and Marios Assiotis in Geekwire later the same week.
Noting that native mobile apps have already moved consumers away from the web, DeVore forsees the turmoil and opportunity in store as the enterprise comes to terms with a "mobile first" world.
I especially like how DeVore explains just why different web-centric disciplines in an enterprise will need to adapt to the new mobile paradigm.
John's interview of the Sidelines founders, however, reminds us that the web is still a place for innovators to innovate - and that the web has tremendous advantages for the pure startup, just launching. Here's an entire paragraph from John's post:
'The smartest move we’ve made so far: “We see a lot of consumer startups going mobile-first with their products because mobile is an exploding platform, and there is a lot of investor interest in mobile products. However, we deliberately took the opposite approach. We launched on the web first, and this has worked out really well for us. It’s much faster to iterate on the web because there isn’t an App Store approval process, users don’t have to download the update, and we can push out new changes and experiment rapidly. Finally, user acquisition on the web is easier than on mobile where you have to rely on getting featured on the App Store or getting press. We’re going to keep adding features to our web app until the end of the year, but will release mobile apps on all major devices starting early next year.”'
Actually, DeVore makes the same points in his piece. Here he is describing the additional challenges and burdens put on product development in a mobile-first world:
"Beyond the specialized development and design skills required to ship customer-delighting software, platform and device fragmentation, lengthy app approval processes and weak (or at least nascent) user instrumentation capabilities all conspire to lengthen product development cycles and reduce the quality + quantity of intelligence that can be gathered to fuel ongoing enhancements."
Personal observation: as mobile becomes more ubiquitous, I find it easier to be productive using mobile devices, but the most empowering apps are those that synch with web services.
Photo: Ed Yourdon / Flickr.