“Your solution is not my fucking problem”
I can’t recall the author of the quote mentioned above, but it’s recently become my mantra. Too often product designers/managers/developers are looking to solve problems that don’t exist. Specifically, with regards to mobile, I have a growing concern that too many businesses see mobile simply as just another marketing channel. They invent products and product features just to have another way to target their consumer base and audience. This way of thinking is narrow minded and completely misses the point of what my handheld, internet enabled, location aware, time aware, motion sensitive, video camera, computer, media player, magic box is capable of. The devices we carry in our pockets are more than just a “smartphone” and more than just another “marketing channel”.
In many regards our mobile devices are a physical extension and force multiplier of our human abilities. And when you combine this amazing device with “wearables” and other Bluetooth or Internet enabled devices it does even more! It monitors and records my health. It alerts me when there’s a problem with my car engine. Unlocks doors. Finds lost treasure (my keys). My smartphone literally gives me superpowers and improves my human experience. That’s how businesses and marketers need to think about mobile. Why? Ponder this:
Prior to being sold to Google ($3.2 billion) Nest reported that in one year they had sold over one million thermostats at a price of $250/unit. A $250 THERMOSTAT! But a magic thermostat, that improved the lives of its users simply by learning their habits and providing a more human experience for its users.