mobility is one of the most significant trends we've been tracking. One thing we haven't discussed much in the realm of mobile, however, is how startups and entrepreneurs can take advantage and prepare themselves for a venture into mobile. Today I spoke with Steve Eisenberg, a business development consultant for MRN Digital Media, and he was kind enough to share some insights that startups may find valuable before diving into the mobile market head-first.Any frequent reader of ReadWriteWeb should know that
Planning Makes Perfect
The theme that came up over and over again during my discussion with Eisenberg was that of preparation and planning. This trend in our chat makes sense coming from a business development consultant, but it is a valuable cornerstone for creating a successful business.
"For startups, some have to do a better job of putting together a management team. Part of growing down the road for funding is about having a track record and experience," says Eisenberg. He adds that some small companies are often caught off guard by rapid growth and aren't prepared to staff up or acquire technical resources to scale.
Preparing for unexpected growth, he says, requires both foresight and contingency plans. The first step toward achieving this is to setup a solid advisory board - one that will provide valuable advice and set quarterly growth milestones to track progress, adds Eisenberg.
Another step in planning for rapid growth and usage is to ensure your apps are battle tested. Eisenberg suggests using a service like Mob4Hire, which will launch its army of mobile users at your app to test it for bugs and endurance while also providing analysis of the usage.
The Times They Are a-Changin'
mentioned in an article earlier this summer, some - Eisenberg included - believe applications on mobile devices are moving away from native platforms toward web-based development.Startups entering the mobile space not only have to plan for rapid growth, but also for the equally fast changing nature of the industry itself. As I
"The point is ubiquity across as many platforms as possible," says Eisenberg. "The ability to publish once and distribute across multiple platforms makes it easier for whoever wants the app developed. I think that's something that people should consider."
Serve the Underserved
Apple certainly has the largest marketing budget, Eisenberg reminds us that Android, RIM and others are still significant slices of the sector. Additionally, while smartphones have been growing in popularity, the amount of mobile users with standard phones with far lower functionality is still massively more common - especially within specific demographic sectors.The other considerations are the common misconceptions about the state of mobile market. While
"There can still be creative things done with SMS or pictures," Eisenberg points out. "You could send some a picture of a barcode and it could be scanned at the register. Some can support QR codes as well. I think we will start seeing more instant coupons that are more valuable to a consumer than a basic advertisement."
Startups sometimes forget that even small companies (sometimes especially small companies) need to plan carefully for their growth. Whatever your target, and whatever your business, planning is never a bad idea. For more resources surrounding mobile business development, be sure check out Eisenberg's work-in-progress site that will soon be the home to a community of business professionals in the mobile sector.