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September - 2009 - issue > CEO Spot Light
Mobile Apps Becoming all the rage!
Arish Ali
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The mobile apps space is all the rage today in large part thanks to the app store arms race started by Apple’s iPhone platform. Apple has to be congratulated and thanked for its enormously successful marketing campaign evangelizing mobile apps. Now that consumers have been educated to spend on mobile apps, there is obviously a lot of entrepreneurial angst directed towards exploiting the new platforms.

As a veteran of the industry who has seen the development and launch of MIDP1.0, BREW 2.x and WAP applications, we have definitely come a long way in terms of features and capabilities afforded by modern day mobile OS platforms such as iPhone 3.0, Blackberry, Windows Mobile 6.0, Android and many others. Any developer with basic programming skills can now develop a GPS enabled, network-aware app with video streaming capabilities integrated with popular social networking sites! Perhaps more importantly, any developer can now sell that app to millions of users.

This new era of “un-walled gardens” brings a completely new set of challenges for any entrepreneur with a business plan that includes mobile apps. With the commoditization of the technical skills and distribution channels necessary to launch mobile apps, it is back to the basics for entrepreneurs thinking of creating mobile apps – Content and Marketing. What compelling and unique content does your app provide to the user that users will actually pay for (ad-supported apps just an indirect way of users paying you)? How will users find out that your app exists and is better than its clones? If you can provide convincing answers to these two questions, then you have the beginning of a mobile apps business plan.

If you cannot answer these questions just yet, then I will still encourage you to dabble in the mobile apps space as a hobbyist. You will get a better feel for the industry, and you know what, you just may strike it lucky with the next great viral app that makes bodily noises. But….that is not a business plan.

The author of the article is Arish Ali, CEO, Skava. Skava provides strategy and execution to brands, retailers and content owners to reach out to consumers across social sites, widgets and mobile devices.
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