The golden era of mobile has begun. Mobile is huge right now and growing strong, with no signs of stopping. Just take a look at any indicator – sale of mobile devices, apps available, people with internet access on mobile devices vs. traditional desktop computers, etc.
There are companies launching with nothing but an iOS app; they don’t bother making a web. Others start with a website just as a thin client (e.g. Instagram, LocalHero). Old, established companies are reinventing themselves through new mobile offerings and for some, creating a mobile version of their existing product is a life-saver. Some VC firms invest purely in companies with mobile products.
There’s money to be made, whether you’re a developer/provider of apps or a business owner looking for a new ways reach your customers. The amount of cash fuels the industry.
What it means for developers?
If you’re looking at getting your hands on this cash, there are two obvious ways.
The risky, but ultimately more rewarding way is to start your own company. The web is full of success stories, but be careful not to get seduced by them. It is hard work, success does not come over-night. For every new “mobile millionaire” I can show you ten guys that didn’t make it. A piece of advice – be innovative, i.e. don’t make another photo-sharing app right now, plus whatever you do, don’t do it without an excellent graphic/UX/interaction designer.
The safe and arguably more fun way is to get employed. Good mobile developers are scarce, companies will fight for you. You can choose where you want to work. Even people in junior positions get better salaries than their counterparts in non-mobile companies. Another advantage of this is that to make good money, you don’t have to work for a big, faceless, enterprise firm developing J2EE applications.
If you’re aspiring to become a mobile programmer, don’t hesitate and contact your desired company. Because of the world-wide shortage of mobile developers, there’s a good chance they will give you the opportunity and you will learn it on the go. If you’re looking for a job in this space right now, Mobera Job Fair is the best place to do it.
What it means for businesses?
Every company should have mobile presence. At minimum a responsive (fancy word for saying “optimized for viewing on a mobile device”) web. If it does not, it is missing out on an ever growing pool of potential customers.
Mobile web is, however, only the beginning. People prefer native applications to mobile-optimized pages. For a lot of businesses it makes sense to have a specialized application for iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7. There’s also value in creating a custom app just for a single product (car makers are especially good in this area).
If you are just starting to think about your mobile strategy, come to the B2B networking event at Mobera to learn more about the market. Pick a mobile solutions provider with good references with and with a top-notch interaction designer. In mobile, the feel, ease of use of the final application matters more than anywhere else. You don’t want your customers to be frustrated. However, be prepared to pay more for your than you would for a web app – development for mobile devices is more complex, takes more time and developers are paid better.
Mobile is an exciting space right now. Don’t miss out on all the fun and opportunities it has to offer and definitely come to Mobera.