On a recent trip to visit family in Boise, Idaho I observed something that gave me pause. When I noticed my father and his new wife – at 60 years young – as well as other family members were face deep in their smartphones, texting and searching for local information every few minutes, I knew we have hit an inflection point.
“I think we are at a point of no return in history. I don’t think most people understand we just past a technical threshold, where mobile devices will rule almost everything in our lives.
People are too busy being distracted by texting and playing games to even realise society just took a major step forward in only a few short years. We are now at a point where although we actually CAN do something, we need to ask ourselves if we SHOULD do it.”
It was a interesting trip, one where I fully grasped for the first time how much tech has invaded our lives. And maybe it struck me so hard because I was not in a tech hub like Seattle or San Francisco, but actually in Boise, ID.
I found myself talking about technology, business and the future quite a bit this last weekend, and the above statement was something I said to my father during one of our late night chats. We digressed into a very enjoyable, yet scary conversation.
As a society, I am not sure we are ready for what is coming down the pipe. Location tracking applications that tell someone/everyone your current whereabouts are scary to the vast majority of people. Psychologically, the dopamine high felt each time your phone buzzes with a new text, email or tweet is making your mind do back flips to the point where an hour without the feeling starts to make one seep into depression. The ability to finger swipe and purchase a new massively discounted offer discovered in your email box feeds the addicted shopper just waiting to spend another $40 on manicure.
All those actions already invented, imagine what we will be doing and how we will be using our mobile devices in the next few years! Remember, the iPhone has only been out for 4 full years now.
For instance, at 350 billion tweets per day, Twitter is becoming a de facto communications medium. All the while no one 5 years ago would even know what a tweet was. From zero to 350,000,000,000 daily tweets in just five years! It is just amazing when you stop to think about how our daily lives are changing right in front of our eyes.
Even more interesting, at one point I took account of how many of us around the table had iPhones and at any given time the percentage ranged from 50% to 80 per cent. MORE THAN HALF of the people I spent the last week with, my family members (some of them in their sixties), had the same device. An iPhone to be exact. Maybe that is why APPLE is about to become the largest corporation in the world very soon.
Below is an image from Mary Meeker’s latest mobile trends talk in February of this year. Notice how much bigger impact mobile will have on our society than minicomputers or PC’s. Something to note: the rise on PC’s created the largest technology company at the time, Microsoft. What will happen as mobile pervades our entire lives with a predicted 10 billion devices? I bet APPLE will have something to say about that.
As I made the 8 hour drive home from Boise to Seattle I listened to Mary Meeker’s mobile trends talk from last year’s web 2.0 summit. It’s fascinating and worth your time of 20 minutes. In it she lays out plainly where we are going:
- Globality, or knowing which global players are doing specific things better than anyone else.
- Markets to pay attention to – US, Japan, Indonesia, China and Brazil.
- Mobile is ramping-up faster than anything we have ever seen.
- New attackers in the market are driving amazing growth (iPhone and Android)
- Smartphones will out-ship PC usage very soon (if not already)
- Would you rather be Google, Apple or Facebook? All are in very strong positions.
- Advertising is ripe for innovation. Will your business benefit from it?
- Rate of innovation is astounding, is your business keeping pace?
- So much more…
Listen to the entire talk here at ITconversations.
Read more posts on SoEntrepreneurial >>