Going Mobile

31 03 2010

Thirty-nine years ago when The Who released “Going Mobile” on the epic Who’s Next LP (yes, it was vinyl, and I still have it), little did they know they were lyrically predicting the future. Nostradamus may have a little more street cred in the prophesy department, but I happen to think Daltry and Townshend were spot on. And never mind that they put on a pathetic Super Bowl XLIV halftime performance.

While they may have had no idea back then what it meant to “go mobile,” it has become the de facto way of life for more and more of us in 2010. In fact, it is the mobile phone app that allows us to do this. And, perhaps most significantly, it foretells the the declining importance of the desktop computer for the years ahead as we rely increasingly more on apps.

And as much as we might like to deny or naysay this trend, it is the truth. Even I, owner of more computers than I can count, find myself not venturing over to the familiar machine nearly as much as I once did. because I can do so much from my phone.

While in bed. While driving (sorry). Walking. Biking. In meetings. Out of meetings. You name it.

Hell, I once thought that broadband was great, because I was seemingly “always” online. That was nothing. Now I truly am always online.

But this new reliance on apps must have “traditional” web-only residents a little nervous. It means we are not surfing the web like we once did. If anything, these handy little apps mean that our online experiences have become more focused on specific destinations. It’s great if your company happens to be one of those destinations (like banks, periodicals, airlines, insurance companies, etc.). And it’s not so great if you depend on folks stumbling into you through a search engine.

The greater implications is that it now behooves all businesses to develop apps if they wish to hang on to customers. Just as web sites in the late-1990s were the must-have item, the app is the same in 2010. If you think the current roster of 150,000 apps is a lot, just hang around a couple of years. It will likely catapult into the millions.

The only problem I see is that we’re going to need smart phones with even greater storage space and cell phone providers with ever faster service. As for those companies who insist on maintaining their Luddite status, the general public reaction to their name will be a lot like that of my students when they heard who was performing at the Super Bowl a few months ago. Not The Who; rather, The Who?

Dr “Won’t Get Fooled Again” Gerlich


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2 responses

31 03 2010
Georgia Romig

At the moment, I think storage space and fast service are still considerable obstacles to overcome — but it’s getting easier to overcome those hurdles ever day.

31 03 2010
Winnie Brock

Apps will ensure and increase customers, student involvement, employee excitement and will keep good and smart business “IN BUSINESS”.

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