Well known venture capitalist Bill Gurley's Transitioning to a Mobile Centric World provides an overview of the major shift to mobile computing.
Gurley argues - and we certainly agree - that computing is in the middle of a platform change from PCs to mobile computing devices. More specifically, he argues that browsers are becoming less important and stand alone mobile apps more important. Key quote:
We are now seeing a new transition – away from the browser and back towards stand-alone applications, this time on mobile devices. We are also seeing the emergence of mobile-only companies whose presence is singularly focused on mobile as opposed to the browser based Internet.
The article is written for the tech industry in general and, more specifically, existing and future Internet firms. It goes on to lay out 10 things firms should consider when building mobile apps.
But there's also a great deal non-tech small businesses can learn from this article. In particular the importance of mobile apps. Below is the key quote on who is going to lose because of the shift to mobile. This applies not just to tech firms, but to businesses in general:
The biggest losers will be the web incumbents who do not understand the rules of the new road, or the consequences of missed execution. Anyone lost in the desktop world who fails to appreciate the criticality of the mobile-first mindset is subject to demise. Consumers prefer mobile and they prefer mobile apps to the mobile web. Deny that reality at your own risk.
We've long urged small businesses to be aware of the impact of mobile technologies and the surge in mobile device sales continues to grow.
Small businesses need to be aware of this shift and understand how it's impacting their business. They also need to figure out how to serve the rapidly growing mass of people using their mobile device to access information.