With over one billion smartphones and over 120 million tablets in use today, the PC era has given way to the world of mobile. Consumers, developers and businesses are being presented with innovative products from disruptive entrepreneurs. At Mayfield Fund, we believe that a new world order is being formed, where many mobile-first companies will grow into industry giants.
Consumerization of health: With the emergence of the *quantified self* movement, many exciting new devices with cloud-connected apps have come to market, which allow consumers to measure vital statistics about their health and take actions based on the data. Basis has developed a smart watch with sensors that measures your heart rate, perspiration, sleep, activity and other metrics, and tracks your data on a personalized Web site and soon-to-come mobile app, which encourages you to adopt healthy habits. Consumers are using mobile apps to directly access and schedule appointments with doctors, comparison shop for prices, expertise and quality. Healthtap is a doctor-patient network where consumers ask doctors questions and get an answer back that is rated for accuracy and quality by other doctors.
E-commerce & Marketplaces: The metaphor of e-commerce and online marketplaces, established by Amazon and eBay, has endured and is flourishing once again – but in a way that is enabling new services that were not possible before. Successful marketplaces on mobile platforms now provide addictive, anywhere – anytime accessibility. Fab is an ecommerce company which curates high design items and offers deals to consumers every day through a personalized “shop” on an iPad. Poshmark is a women’s fashion marketplace where consumers can list and beautifully merchandize items in their closets in just a few clicks and also host offline/online trunk shows, called PoshParties, focused on specific fashion themes or categories. Members of the community can simply browse the listings or join a party and buy directly from the seller with their smartphone. The ease of listing via your camera on the smartphone and the simple browsing metaphor similar to Instagram were purpose-built for mobile, and the always-in-your purse quality of the phone makes the app addictive and engaging. In addition to products, there are services marketplaces as well, such as Lyft which has built a ridesharing community in which drivers offer rides to passengers and the entire transaction from booking, scheduling, payment and feedback, is enabled through a mobile app. Both Poshmark and Lyft are focused on building a trusted community first and a marketplace second. Both of them have organically created user loyalty in a market that welcomes new entrants every day.
SmartApps: With the prevalence of smartphones and the easy accessibility and richness of data, users are expecting a set of smartapps which are personalized and intelligent -- which know them (who); remember their past interactions and preferences (what); factor in their context (when, where); take permission-based actions on their behalf; and get smarter about them the more they are used. Many of these have been in the productivity areas such as personal assistant EasilyDo, the Tempo calendar, office docs suite Quick Office (acquired by Google) and email app Mailbox (acquired by Dropbox). And there are many more areas coming up such as travel, local commerce and the like.