All of this is good news for entrepreneurs since they are in the best position to take advantage of all of these changing dynamics. It is not as good news for those who find themselves operating a big Internet business started more than five years ago. You are going to need to make a hard right turn super fast without flipping over the car.
In the past fifteen years, we have seen Microsoft go from being an unstoppable force to being a non-factor in many important new markets, we have seen Google go from being an unstoppable force to being a non-factor in many important new markets, and I suspect we are going to see Facebook struggle with the same thing. RIM is dying quickly now. Yahoo! is a question mark.
In technology the more things change, the more the stay the same. You cannot ever rest. Because the big change that is going to upset your nice apple cart is right around the corner. Today that is mobile. Tomorrow, who knows? I am trying like hell to figure out what that will be and jump on it. Because that’s how you play this game.
If you look at any of the top web properties on comScore, Quantcast, Alexa or any other third party reporting service you will see that they all have been fairly flat over the first half of the year. You might think that all these big web services are flatlining.
We have seen this in our portfolio too. From board meeting to board meeting, we are seeing a similar pattern. Web is flattish. But mobile is growing like a weed.
Mobile does not reward feature richness. It rewards small, application specific, feature light services. I have said this before but I will say it again. The phone is the equivalent of the web application and the mobile apps you have on your home screen(s) are the features.
User experience is not the only big change/challenge for companies trying to navigate this transition. Monetization is different too.
82 Percent of Time Spent with Mobile Media Happens Via Apps: http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2012/5/Introducing_Mobile_Metrix_2_Insight_into_Mobile_Behavior/