According to the panelists Matt Jones of Dopplr and Jonathan MacDonald of Ogilvy at PSFK’s Good Idea Salon London, mobile is all about a patchwork of situated software solving people’s personal and local desires.
Matt Jones spread the concept of Mobile being all about Place, and place is where culture meets location. The future mobile landscape will be a range of small ideas, small applications all working together to create a global mesh – as in contrast to many of today’s developments, where the focus is on solving massive global solutions.
Jonathan MacDonald added that we need to de-silo mobile and start talking of what it does, not what it is. We need to think about what people do in their lives, it’s about every single one of us.
I couldn’t agree more, and found Matt’s additions to the panel remarkably refreshing, putting a lot of stuff into context. Trying to build it into a more commercial articulation I would say that:
- 1. Mobile is about people, and they stuff they do, where, and how they do it. It’s not about technology, handsets or applications. As I have personally experienced, it is through being inspired by the customers and participants that the really groundbreaking revelations happen. Not through workshopping with clients or reading quantitative analysis.
2. People care about what’s closest to them, this also goes for the situations products and companies want to be a part of. Massive solutions, solving problems on a global scale, will not be as relevant or as interesting as tailored and local stuff.
The patchwork part is also very interesting but probably not from a conscious consumer point of view. The Patchwork implies that it is the combination of intelligence in and sensing by these local applications that the “grand machinery” will be produced. Not by a dumber, global, giant solution.
As a result one can say that Mobile will be about combining people and their ideas (culture) with their location. This doesn’t mean serving me coupons when walking past a Starbucks or sending me an SMS telling me to watch a TV program in the evening because some products will be featured. It’s about understanding my life, the activities I perform, which ones are relevant for your company. And discovering how you can ad value to this based on presence (being accessible when the situation occurs, not on the laptop four hours later), people (person + herd = culture) and place (location + time).