I am Calling Bullshit on Your ‘Mobile Strategy’


After 15 years of working for someone else, Mikaal Abdulla finally got smart and started his own company. He is the co-founder and CEO of 8 Securities. This is part of an occasional series on marketing tips and strategies for startups.

The amount of chatter around “mobile strategy” is giving me a piercing headache that I can not shake. The only remedy is to write. So here I go.

Google glasses - got a 'mobile strategy' for this yet?

Are you ready for this screen? (Image: Thomas Hawk on Flickr)

Mobile is not a strategy. It’s simply another screen on which your business must function. Is there a titanic shift from time spent on the PC to mobile screen? Yes. Are there business models well suited to mobility? Yes. Is developing for the mobile screen a fundamentally critical channel for any business that wants a future? Yes.

Are you a mobile company? I hope your answer is no. Just because you have led with mobile you can’t stop there. If you want to build a formidable business for the long term then you need a ubiquity strategy, not a mobile strategy. What happens when Apple TV starts competing with your iPad app in the living room? What happens when Google Glasses become common place on the street? What happens when the automobile dashboard becomes truly connected? Do you then need a “TV strategy”, a “glasses strategy” or an “automobile strategy”?

Sounds stupid right? What you need is ubiquity. You need to seamlessly be everywhere your customers are. I of course may be wrong (I usually am) but I believe the future is in responsive web design, HTML5, the open web, and seeing the world through your customers’ eyes, whatever screen those eyes may be looking at.

Believe me, the future is much bigger than your mobile app. If you are not thinking ahead, you will lose. Is mobile a good starting point? Of course it is. Mobile distribution has tremendous advantages such as cost, speed to market and distribution. But please don’t fall into the trap of talking about your “mobile strategy”. Strategy by definition is about the future of your business. Instead think of mobile as just another screen on which you engage your customers. Your strategy deserves to be bigger than a 4-inch screen.

(And yes, we're serious about ethics and transparency. More information here.)

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