Mobile for every business
You cannot escape the growth of mobile devices in the years since the iPhone launched the smartphone era in 2007. Sometimes our obsession with smartphones and tablets slightly obscures the underlying fact that mobile was already the fastest growing technology in history before Steve Jobs came along.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that mobile is a huge business opportunity and there are thousands of start ups across the world which aim to take advantage of the mobile ecosystem. This is great and I love working with these companies. But mobile is not just about mobile. Every start up and every company needs to view the world mobile first, no matter what, how or where they aim to sell.
Grow your market reach
Every business should be mobile because it has the greatest market reach.
A defining feature of mobile is reach. It is fairly well known that phones are the main way of accessing the Internet in many parts of the world. Mobile is also the primary access to information of any kind in the developing world. It's reach is far greater than television, radio and newspapers as well as fixed line communications. This access is quickly becoming better and faster. Informa believes smartphones will reach 30% of Africans by 2017 and at least 14 countries on the continent already have 4G networks.
Reach is not just global though. Mobile reaches far more individual people in any country than traditional communication. This is most obvious with the young who tend not to watch TV news or read the papers. They do pay attention to their phones. Tablets have also opened up the web to an older generation. @PewResearch reported that 43% of US Senior Citizens accessed social media in 2013 up from just 26% in 2010.
Mobile - its personal
Every business should be mobile because it is close to customers.
Mobile is personal. Smartphones and tablets have become essential to people's lives because they are the preferred method of communicating with anyone who we cannot see face to face at any particular moment. In fact mobile has extended our ability to communicate more widely than ever before and all the evidence is that people across the world love it.
As a result, businesses can only succeed in mobile by understanding the behaviour of ordinary people and communicating in ways which respond. Success with mohile will make your business a better business.
A better way of business
Every business should be mobile because it is a better way of doing business.
Mobile has brought a new focus to user experience, a sharper understanding of user behaviour and a more agile way of building, testing and regaining products. The whole way of doing business in mobile first businesses is different. New product cycles are measured in hours or days not weeks or months. User experience comes first and technical requirements well behind. Business practices follow user needs rather than dictate how the user will behave.
Start ups and technology giants which have been winning in mobile are reinventing management and we should all learn to adapt.
If you are thinking about starting a business today why would you not want greater market reach, closer to customers and better business? How can your start up become mobile first?
Kenny Fraser is the Director of Sunstone Communication and a personal investor in startups.