We have all lived through some really interesting historic business and market cycles. Unfortunately each one has not necessarily taught us the lessons needed to succeed in the existing or imminent cycles that are either ongoing or ahead of us currently. I was fortunate to have lived in Silicon Valley from 1996-2001 and was able to witness first-hand both the boom and subsequent bust of the technology and Internet bubble.
What struck me fifteen years ago during my time in Silicon Valley was the speed with which technology cycles changed. First it was Moore’s Law and the imminent changes I witnessed year over year in terms of processing / computing power and the associated cost / price that accompanied it. The velocity of this technology change and the product cycles that resulted from it were truly breathtaking.
But then along came the Internet and it made these technology changes look like they were simply standing still. Literally anything could be created from scratch … or evolved from concept to production … and fast. But over the past decade, and through the migration from technology to the Internet and from circuit switching to packet switching, I have now witnessed something that has made the prior cycles seem like glaciers in comparison. This new cycle is the mobile cycle and it completely demands your attention and respect.
Mobile is evolving at a blistering rate, measured in term of quarters, months and even weeks in some cases versus years before hand. Annual budgeting simply does not work on mobile and all of the business rules, processes and procedures need to be completely rethought from A to Z. Anytime, anywhere audiences are the equivalent of global real-time focus groups … and these groups wants to be engaged and satisfied wherever and whenever they want … at their own choosing and on their own terms. If you are unable to engage and satisfy them in the time frame that they require, then they will simply go elsewhere … to those that can and will.
Your participation in this cycle is completely optional to them. Nice to have, but by no means required. To them, the proverbial train has already left the building and they believe that you need to find a stop ahead of them to jump on board if you’re not already there since their one way trip to Generation Now has no plans to go back and pick you up.
Currently we see these new mobile cycles completing themselves every two to three months. This means that in a single year we are watching between four and six of these mobile cycles come and go.
Unfortunately, we are also seeing that many of the accompanying corporate budgeting cycles, business rules, processes and procedures are continuing to follow an annual, once per year budgeting and operating model. As a result, and quite simply put, there currently is a complete corporate disconnect between the velocity demanded for mobile and the associated planning and budgeting cycles accompanying it.
While everyone can make their own choices on what is the “right approach” to address this disconnect, we believe that people and companies alike ignore it at their own peril. We don’t see anything that can’t be addressed or remedied here, but we do think that the first step to “fixing” the disconnect is acceptance. Acceptance requires every individual at every company to understand and internalize that the velocity of mobile is different and that it has no plans to slow down at all. If anything, it intends to further accelerate until it ultimately achieves a real-time, anywhere, anytime state that allows immediate engagement and satisfaction … on the terms and conditions established by the individuals choosing to use and leverage the devices, applications and tools that have been provided.
At Phunware, we have embraced this speed. We enjoy it, we covet it and we respect it. As such, we structure everything that we do to put Generation Now front and centre to the DNA of every facet of our business. We suggest that you too do the same as the traffic shift to mobile already occurring is going to do nothing but accelerate over the coming months, quarters and years ahead. The real question he is whether or not your core business is going to thrive or struggle as a result of this new reality.
Our advice is quite simple … embrace this challenge, engage this velocity and grow comfortable with this speed … as once your business and teams accept this, you will find that it becomes natural, stimulating and highly profitable. More importantly, it will become a key competitive differentiator for you and allow you to take market share from those that fail to understand just how critical this shift is and has become to future business success. All aboard and warp speed ahead!