Rethinking The Seductiveness Of Mobile-First

October 21 2013

There was a very interesting posting on TechCrunch by Semil Shah this morning entitled Rethinking the Seductiveness of Mobile-First. The artcile talks about some reasons why an application should be targeted at the web first, not mobile. Here are the high level points he makes:

  • Some markets make mobile-first simply unnecessary or unviable.
  • Relatively speaking, easier to recruit web developers versus mobile developers.
  • Faster cycles for iterations, testing, and moving toward product-market fit.
  • The web provides a strong foundation to build a brand and harness virality.
  • Mobile can be thought of as an extension, not the foundation.

What I find interesting about these points is that it sounds almost exactly like the old rich client vs. web discussion 10 years ago. For instance, if a market is not mobile viable, how viable is the web? Why not use a disconnected model like the Notes client?

Mobile-first is the future, across every vendor and technology. In 10 years, we won't even think of mobile as it's own segment, mobile will be first. What happens in 10 years is anyone's guess, but the idea of carrying a laptop and a tablet and a smartphone will probably morph into carrying a device that has different modes of work: home, work, in transit, etc.