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Business, Featured - Written by on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 15:08 - 2 Comments

Nick Vitalari
Mobile platform magic: Five things executives must know about mobility

The real lesson of the iPhone turned out to have very little to do with the phone at all. The iPhone–and now Android–experience underscores the versatility of business platforms and ecosystems when connected to a powerful mobile device. But the mobility experience has also taught us another thing: there are new vistas of human behavior and tremendous opportunities for industries and institutions are being revealed—opportunities that many companies and governments misunderstand when they judge the value of mobility in their futures.

Many see mobility as simply another communication channel or another medium. Others mistakenly view mobility as simply another information technology, much like those that preceded it. They do not see how a mobile device combined with a business platform (elsewhere I have discussed the characteristics and success factors of business platforms) can lead to new business models, entirely new businesses, and new growth options.

Here are five critical elements executives must understand about mobility. Mobility creates:

  1. Micro-tasking. How small can a meaningful piece of work be? Is not the right one-word answer immeasurably productive at the right time? What about a single word of encouragement at the right moment. Rehearsing a new set of phrases for a new language as an adult or reviewing multiplication tables during a couple of available minutes as a child can be remarkably effective and efficient. This is the power of micro-tasking and mobile platforms enable this behavior in ways and times not possible before. Multiply this by the millions or perhaps billion moments per day and you have new levels of potential human productivity and significantly revised time budgets. And there are examples: The Extraordinaries harnesses voluntary micro-tasking to help those in need and see Denis Hancock’s post, “The iPhone, growing up digital, and my daughter’s education,” on the way micro-tasking changes the way pre-schoolers learn.
  2. New Creativity. Humans are fundamentally asynchronous and associative. We require props to operate on schedule. Most of the time our ideas, inspirations, and breakthroughs seem random or triggered by some event, association with another idea, or situational experience. Because our devices are always with us and allow us immediate access to tools that were formerly attached to a desk or office, mobile platforms enable us to work in a more natural way – asynchronously and associatively. When did you have your last creative idea? Being connected to a global infrastructure, able to access capabilities at a whim, or simply using an appropriate app at the appropriate time enables new levels of creativity.
  3. The Growing World of Sensors. Mobile devices loaded with sensors will revolutionize health, safety and security. Sensor technology is growing in its ability to sense the world that is visible to humans as well as the world that is not. When you integrate sensor technology (biosensors, temperature, radiation, personal sonar/radar etc) into mobile devices married to platform infrastructures, every human being becomes a sensing station that can measure environmental pollutions, noise pollution, unhealthy emissions, or dangerous hazards. The implications for health, safety and personal care surpass any in a non-mobile, non-sensor based world.
  4. Enhanced experience or augmented reality. Much like the headphones issued at some public museums enhance the one’s understanding of museum artifacts, all facets of daily life can be enhanced by location, context and proximal awareness. Location data can enhance the experience of the local opera, theatrical performance, or visit to a museum. Commercial enterprises, whether serving B2C or B2B marketplaces, have the ability to augment the entire procurement process through mobile platforms. Employees can be augmented with relevant information and tools when serving customers and providing contracted services.
  5. Digital Identity and the Rich Digital Self. As remarkable as the human capacity to remember is, it remains limited in many ways. The same is not true of devices that sense and store, activities that mobile platforms do in unique and often helpful ways. If my rich digital self is only based on what I can recall, it is limited. On the other hand, a rich digital self enhanced by streams of unbounded data collected through my mobile platform can create personal value and protect my privacy.

Are these areas where the greatest opportunity awaits? Are there others that I have missed? Are there companies and institutions that seem to really recognize—and leverage accordingly—the power of mobile platforms? Is there a role of for mobile business platforms to meet the special needs of your marketplace? Or will you stand by and let others, competitors and new entrants till the fields of mobility?


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Storytelling Social Media Marketing PR Technology & Business Curated Stories Mar. 16, 2010
Mar 16, 2010 16:49

[...] Mobile Platform Magic: Five Things Executives Must Know about Mobility Published: March 16, 2010 Source: Wikinomics The real lesson of the iPhone turned out to have very little to do with the phone at all. The iPhone–and now Android–experience underscores the versatility of business platforms and ecosystems when connect… [...]

Mobile platform magic: Five things executives must know about mobility | MyHub.fr
Mar 21, 2010 3:09

[...] Read more on Winkinomics [...]

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