TYSONS CORNER, VA – When it comes to developing a mobile presence, companies need to know what they want to accomplish, but should jump in and start learning the mobile space rather than planning for six months. That is the strongest takeaway at Tech Media’s Digital East conference where audiences packed rooms to hear panels discuss mobile and location, online reputation management, and usability & design.
In one of the morning’s first panels, Scott Suhy, co-founder and CEO of Point/About, warned the audience, “You need to know what you want to achieve in building a mobile app, but keep in mind that these apps are disposable. After 21 days, most people never open an app they have downloaded. Most people only open an app twice.” So, don’t build highly complex featured laden apps right off the bat, he said.
Ken Yarmosh, O’Reilly author and mobile app expert on the same panel, however, said, “You need to go mobile if you haven’t already” Among reasons he cited the increasing number of devices and the fact that people have shown a willingness to pay for mobile apps, while they’re often unwilling to pay for web content. “But don’t wait six months to start,” he said. “Get into it now.”
Many speakers offered concrete advice in the panel discussion. Even featured speakers offered some insight into their “secret sauce” from the podium. Rober S. Marshall, founder, pressident and CEO of Weatherbug, told the audience, “Our developers get out to the Google and Apple and Microsoft developer conferences.” They may not be hobnobbing with the upper level of executives at those firms, but they get to know the people in the trenches, and that can pay off later.
In this case, Steve Jobs used Weatherbug’s app to demonstrate the iPad because his developers told him it was a cool app, Marshall said.
The jam-packed event is ongoing today and we’ll be reporting live periodically during the day.