I say “mobile” is a misnomer that leads some companies down the wrong road, envisioning users on a road looking for lattes.
Most tablet usage is in the home. I use my “mobile” phone all the time in my office and even at home and certainly in boring meetings, when I’m quite sedentary.
Mobile = local = around me now. Mobile is my personal bubble. It is enhanced convenience, putting the device and the world in my hand. That’s the power of “mobile.”
Next imagine access to all this information and functionality without the device: Cue the war between Siri and Google Glass to eliminate the last mediator, the thing.
I see companies assuming that mobile requires maps and geography or apps and closed worlds. But I think what we now mistakenly call mobile will be about the opposite: getting each of us to what we want with fewer barriers and less effort because the service (often through the device or the OS: thus the war of iPhone v. Android) has gathered so many signals about us: who we are, where we are, what we like, whom we know, what we know, what we want to know, what we buy….
The power of what we now call mobile, I believe, is in signal generation and the extreme targeting and convenience that enables.
That is why commerce works (and few thought it would on the small screen): because I cut through layers of search and discovery and get what I want — a nearby pizza or a Gilt-y pleasure — so easily. This is where we need to rethink media around informing you in new ways. Advertising? I’m not sure what advertising is.
What we call “mobile” is disruptive in ways we can’t yet figure out. We call it “mobile” but we should call it “what’s next.”
Big ups to the PC industry for continuing to illustrate that competing for short-term ROI with rational drivers like price, function, and incrementally faster speeds&feeds is a great way to commoditize your product, bankrupt your brand, and ultimately harm your company over time.
HP dropped -12.7 percent, Dell dropped -9.5 percent, Acer -14.1 percent and Toshiba -19.5 percent in the U.S. market for the second quarter of 2012. Apple was up 4.3 percent. Note that the numbers include “desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.”
So they included everything that would make the PC companies look as good as possible. Imagine if they included the iPad in Apple’s numbers. I think that says it all.
(Via The Loop)
Ever since first browsing the aisles at Barnes and Noble to sample books that I was ordering from Amazon on my iPhone, I’ve wondered why retail hasn’t yet evolved from having an online presence that is separate from brick and mortar to having them sync’d together into one experience. It’s been a completely separate push from the constant work that’s done to optimize their brick and mortar locations.
We all know that the Apple Store has done some remarkable things at retail, one of them being the ability to buy an item using your phone, pick it up and walk out the door without ever speaking to an employee. Which is great if you have the chutzpah required to actually do it … my guilty conscience would do unspeakable things to me if I ever tried.
Beyond Apple, however, it seems like retail has remained fairly stagnant and completely isolated from the Internet. Which is why I was interested to see that Neiman Marcus (of all places) is dipping it’s toes into the brick & mortar & digital waters with a mobile app that’s made to connect customers to sales associates, 24/7:
Though online shopping has undergone multiple transformations over the past two decades, the same can not be said for brick-and-mortar retail. Shoppers are still brought in using approximately the same marketing tactics (think direct mail catalogs, window displays, seasonal sales). Product is still refreshed at the same rates and customers still line up and check out, with few exceptions, at cash registers.
Signature, a mobile app company that bills itself as the “ultimate personal shopping assistant,” is looking to reengineer the way consumers shop in stores — namely, the stores of upscale clothing retailers. The San Francisco-based startup has partnered with Neiman Marcus to develop a custom iPhone app to better facilitate communications between stores and customers.
The app, called NM Service, is currently being piloted at four Neiman Marcus locations: San Francisco, Calif.; Palo Alto, Calif.; Austin, Texas; and Neiman Marcus’s flagship store in Dallas, Texas.
It has two interfaces: one for shoppers and one for sales associates. Shoppers are able to able to browse event schedules, new arrivals and promotions. As they browse, they can favorite products and even arrange for them to be placed in a dressing room ahead of arrival, Signature CEO David Hegarty tells Mashable. They can also make appointments and leave messages for associates, and see which ones are on the floor. A built-in QR code reader lets them scan signage for trend and product information displayed in-store.
It’s a small step, but could signify the start of some very cool and very welcome changes to retail.
Also, my apologies for using the word “cyberspace” in the title of this post.
From an article about optimizing your bathroom for creative output comes this reminder that spending all day in the office is a bad way to be good at your job:
Research on the nature of creativity suggests my experience isn’t all that unique. Often, the most effective way of solving a difficult problem is simply walking away. The moment we allow ourselves to disengage from the individual pieces of a puzzle is the moment a solution appears. It’s why Albert Einstein regularly went sailing and why Charles Darwin planned his day around a countryside stroll. Thomas Edison simply napped.
Via Fast Company
Over on The Psychology of Video Games blog, Jamie Madigan lays out the case that nostalgia is tied to social connections, which makes gaming much more nostalgic than other media:
If nostalgia is tied so closely to social connections and a sense of community, games have the potential to evoke it more than any other medium, because they are so inherently social and are becoming more so every year. Early games might have been shared experiences on the couch or via playground discussions in much the same way as movies or TV, but the majority of new games coming out this year will feature mechanics or tools that encourage players to share, compete, communicate, help, and socialise. The same can’t be said of music, movies, TV, or other common vessels of nostalgia. It seems that games might someday boost more moods than anything else in history.
To me, this underscores the importance of brands learning how to serve as a node that brings people together in interesting ways, and it think misunderstanding this could be at the root of a lot of failed digital experiences. Of course, bad ideas are bad ideas, no matter how social they are intended to be.