The keynote for the International Consumer Electronics Show last week focused on the idea that we are all a part of Generation M, where M stands for mobile. Children are handed smartphones before they learn how to talk. Grandparents Skype with their children and grandchildren. If you are alive and use mobile technology, you are a part of Generation M.
The keynote, which we should mention was incredibly awkward, had an important and true statement:
We are all Born Mobile.
Qualcomm’s chief executive Paul Jacobs, who presented the keynote, stated that 84% of people worldwide said that they could not go a day without their mobile device.
Back in October, Qualcomm had this to say about being born mobile: “Thanks to anywhere, anytime communication, mobile technology brings people together and is enabling a powerfully connected future, a future that is now. Mobile has become an integral part of consumers daily lives, and it will continue to transform the way individuals and communities interact with one another and the world around them.”
Children understand mobile
Qualcomm also provided a YouTube video of an 18-month sending a text message, then drawing a picture of an orange on a tablet and then taking a duck-face picture on a cellphone. The child is able to navigate the devices with ease. It is quite obvious that the video is fake but it does prove a point: technology is quickly picked up by children, sometimes even quicker than millennials and certainly faster than Generation X.
Mobile technology is everywhere. So naturally it has become a big part of our lives, especially with children. Parents are handing over their smartphones to children and are noticing that they are able to enjoy games just as much as they do. Children are able to use tablets for learning and the results have been impressive. Illiterate Ethiopian children were able to teach themselves, without the help of teachers, by using tablets. Apps and devices are constantly being developed for people with disabilities, whether mental (to learn) or physical (to navigate the world).
Mobile around the home
Beyond tablets and smartphones, the Android operating system is being integrated into just about every device in your life: watches, ovens, televisions, and automobiles. On top of that, you can use apps to control thermostats, lightbulbs and DVRs and even track the food you eat and how much you exercise. The smartphone is now the remote control for your life.
What does this mean for the mobile market?
The short-term and long-term mobile market shows that mobile is not going anywhere. If anything, the tablet and mobile market will continue to rise. There were a reported 5.5 billion mobile devices active at the end of 2012, with some people having multiple devices (the world's population exceeded 7 billion in 2012).
Take into consideration that the average lifespan of a mobile device is 18 to 24 months for the average mobile user in the United States, while techies will usually upgrade their device in a year or less.
Look for mobile technology to become less expensive in 2013 as companies try to capture the market of people who do not own a smartphone. We still believe that 2013 is the year of the second screen and tablets will become even more integrated into your everyday life.
In addition, you should see more and more mobile technology integrated into your everyday life and purchases.
Where do you see mobile technology taking businesses in 2013? Contact us today to discuss how businesses can take advantage of the emerging mobile market and how to integrate the technology for profit.
You can check out Qualcomm's keynote below:
Just in time for the holidays, we recently produced the Android mobile experience for Airport Life
, a mobile application that litererally "makes travel easier
We were challenged by how much capability existed in the app and the short time we were given to produce it. We made a promise to deliver the software by November 1st. So we only had a little over a month and a half when the coding began on September 10th. Why Status Quo delivered the fully integrated software app to the Google Play store on October 29th, the day of Hurricane Sandy.
Despite serving on his Advisory board, this was the first time Captain Dan Stratman and I worked together in this capacity. Dan had to trust that our methodology, while a little confusing in the beginning, would ultimately produce the app as originally designed. Humbled, I have heard Dan describe our team as "Amazing" and he has been telling his networks that we produced it in "record time and even improved upon the iPhone version."
We put it to the ultimate test during Hurricaine Sandy. During the storm that obliterated the Northeast, Airport Life reported zero glitches in communicating updates to passengers, which is something Dan must be proud of.
We worked with Dan on a project basis, not time and materials, which is what we prefer. Further, we assess this produces a competitive advantage. So many times we hear how other companies deliver software that is late, broken, or breaks something else.
Our methodology is designed to avoid bad outcomes like missed deadlines and poor quality. Further, it allows us to focus on our commitments and the concerns of our customer instead of simply getting paid by the hour, no matter the result.
We act as our customer's CTO, if they don't have one, or their most trusted technical advisor, if they do.
Additionally, our intention WAS to improve on the iPhone version. The user experience of using the Airport Wall as well as adding flights and destinations to the itinerary was the result of a roundtable discussion. We focused on the frequent business traveler for whom time is also precious. First allow them to search for the airline or airport they want and focus the search to always be at the top of the screen, even if they scroll. Additionally, we must show the traveler the airports that are in close proximity. We assess this will facilitate discussion on the challenges of each airport and be a lasting historical record that will help travelers for years to come.
Have you downloaded Airport Life yet?
Starbucks finally updated their App with Passbook-integration last week. By doing so, they've raised the bar for mobile payments.
At Why Status Quo?, we believe that Passbook could put you out of business. Therefore, you need to pay attention to what Starbucks is doing with Passbook to understand the status quo.
If you're unfamiliar with Passbook, Apple added the App with the release of iOS 6 last month. Passbook is the one-stop App for coupons, gift cards, tickets and loyalty cards and is time and location-based to help users organize their life.
When walking or driving to a Starbucks, the iPhone will place a notification on the screen alerting the user. By sliding the notification on the lock screen, Passbook will open for easy-access.
Signing up for a Starbucks Card is extremely easy within the Starbucks App:
Once you get your Mobile Starbucks Card, it'll ask you if you want to add it to your Passbook:
In the Starbucks App, you'll be able to easily add money to your Starbucks card:
Starbucks has allowed users to pay with their app for awhile. However, with Passbook fully-integrated with Starbucks' app, Starbuck has set the standard for mobile payment apps. Apple used Starbucks as an example of Passbook integration well before the app included support for it. It is quite obvious why because of its flawless integration and the brand support of Starbucks.
Starbucks is one of the biggest brands that has supported mobile payments. They are not done either as they are looking to add support for Square's mobile payment system and it will launch in November.
Starbucks is having success with their mobile payments because they decided to innovate rather than sit back and let another company do it first and they have a well-designed UI and a service that works.
With Square, Starbucks looks to continue to be involved with innovative mobile payments. While these will not be available at launch, Tech Crunch says "Square will support paying with bank cards, and only Square will support the 'pay with name' feature that lets consumers simply speak their name at checkout."
Starbucks has seen success with mobile payments. Last week, Starbucks announced that since they launched mobile payments in January 2011, they've made more than 70 million mobile transations with their app.
With their mobile app, Square and Passbook, Starbucks continues to be at the forefront of mobile payments. How are you leveraging technology to open new markets for your business?
Let's talk about it!
Friday morning, Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, apologized for the quality of their new Maps app on Apple.com (which was released on September 19th).
Apologizing goes against the grain of Apple's strategy from the Steve Jobs era. Back when the iPhone 4 was being criticized for antenna issues, Jobs told Ars Technica via email that "all phones have sensitive areas" and to solve it by "just avoid holding it that way."
Now compare and contrast that to Cook's message: "We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better."
Cook then suggested their customers to download their competitor's map apps or even using Google's web map app.
Full letter is below:
Apple's iOS App Store and iTunes App Store also featured (highly visisble) sections that offered the alternative apps:
A discussion on Mobile Strategy:
While some people may come out and critisize Apple for admitting their mistake, making the apology isn't their biggest issue. Their apology reflects a two-fold problem at Apple - Strategic and Tactical.
Strategically, this apology reflects a shift in their customer satisfaction strategy. Historically, their narrative has been that when you are designing the future, sometimes you get things wrong. The customers are left to deal with it and, to a certain extent, they are considered pioneers along with Apple in exploring new, and sometimes painful, territory.
This is bad for one main reason - Now Apple must bear the cost of monitoring and satisfying their customers in real time. Previously, customers bore the cost of either using Apple's products or checking out other alternatives. With this apology, Apple is bearing the cost for producing their product in a way their customers expect instead of the way Apple expects. We must continue to observe whether or not this shift hurts their ability to be innovative and set the standard in the marketplace for personal handheld devices.
Secondly, their tactical mistake was allowing it to happen in the first place. Apple has consistently pushed out phones that people feel like they need to upgrade to every year. Before the original iPhone came out, people usually stuck with their phone for two years until their contract allowed them to get a free or discounted phone.
Apple did not need to release their Maps update in September of 2012. It has been widely reported that Apple still had a contract with Google to use their maps for at least another year.
The new Maps app has left a sour taste in some user's mouths. Personally, I've struggled in my transition from Google to Apple's maps as it has a very different look and feel. I was using Google maps for directions when many people were still using Mapquest so the new interface has been hard to get used to.
I have also had some issues with certain locations. Some restaraunts with duplicate Yelp listings have led to glitches when displaying reviews. Also, unless you have the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, you don't get turn-by-turn navigation from Siri.
In the end, Apple needed to realize that their product was subpar compared to what they already had on contract for another year.
Would Steve Jobs had made that mistake? Probably not.
Apple's stock has directly reflected Wallstreet's confidence in Tim Cook:
- September 19th (the day iOS 6 was released) - 702.10 (highest it has ever been)
- September 27th (the day before Apple's apology) - 681.32
- September 28th (Apple's apology) - 667.10
This isn't the end of Apple by any means. While this will give Android fans a few reasons to laugh at Apple's products, Apple loyalists will still continue to buy their products. At this point, it might even help Apple's image to admit that they do make mistakes and they are just like the rest of us.
The iPhone 5 was officially released to the public today. Some people got their pre-orders in the mail as early as Tuesday but for the most part, people got them delivered or they waited in lines to purchase the mobile device at retail stores today.
If you're still debating on whether you want to upgrade from your old iPhone or other device, here is some information released today on the iPhone 5.
Everyone likes to make comparisons between products before buying them. This blog post compares the iPhone to the Droid RAZR HD, the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Samsung Galaxy S III (largedy considered to be the best Android device on the market).
And here's a video comparison between the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III
Want a durable phone? Want to make a guess on which phone wins in the drop test?
This test (which was done by Android Authority, by the way) proved that the iPhone 5 is a much more durable device than the Samsung Galaxy S III. Dropping your phone is inevitable, which is why so many companies are dedicated to phone cases. It is nice to know the limits of your phone so you aren't deathly afraid of dropping it. This device showed that it was safe to drop the phone from about five and a half feet in the air standing still (at least twice). On the flip side, the Galaxy S III cracked under the pressure (literally). If cracking your screen is a recurring problem, keep that in mind.
Have an iPhone 4S and you don't know if you should upgrade? Here's a video comparison between the two:
Want to see the iPhone 5 unboxed?
Now here are some reviews:
This is a review on the new Camera (which has an upgrade from the iPhone 4S).
And here is an old-fashioned review from the Huffington Post.
Another thing to consider about the iPhone 5 is the ability for LTE speed (On AT&T, Verizon and Sprint). I did a review of LTE last year (on a Motorola Droid). If this is something you'd like to research, check out my tests on it (and also check your 4G LTE coverage maps with your carrier before expecting it work in your area).
Of course, the new iPhone 5 also has the newly released iOS 6. Make sure you check out my early impressions of the newest operating system for the iPhone.
If you've got an iPhone 5: enjoy it and let us know what you think of it. If you don't have an iPhone, let us know in the comments why you don't have it yet or don't want it at all!
iOS 6 was released to the public yesterday. With over 200 new features, Apple's newest mobile operating system update is not reinventing the wheel, just tweaking it to make it better. After all, why fix something that isn't broken?
I decided to install the new update as soon as it came out. Here are some of my favorite new features, biggest misses and what I still don't know enough about.
- Speed - From my standpoint, I feel like my iPhone 4 (Verizon) is much faster and responsive with the new update.
- Facebook integration and improved Twitter integration - The addition of Facebook integration is one of my favorite features as the Facebook app for iOS is way too slow. Now I can share photos, videos and statuses from the Notification Center. Apple has focused on efficiency and speed, so this makes a lot of sense. Twitter was already introduced into many of the different apps with the last update but it was not available in Notification Center previously.
- YouTube - One big addition to iOS 6 is actually a subtraction. The YouTube app that was impossible to delete from your iPhone is now gone. Instead, YouTube created their own app and it is a huge improvement. The addition of AirPlay makes the YouTube app useful again.
- Safari - I recently switched from Safari to Chrome on my iPhone as my go-to browser. The ability to transfer open tabs from one device to the other is great, especially when I have a laptop, tablet and a phone. Safari added this feature in and it also integrated more sharing options with the new social integration. This is a huge improvement and I will be switching back to Safari on my iPhone, ASAP.
Swing and a miss:
- Passbook - I was really excited about the Passbook app. I even blogged about how it could change the way your business makes money. After opening the newest built-in app, I was left confused and wondering what to do next. The first screen explains what the app can do but after going to the next screen, I was sent to the App Store and was greeted with a list of different Apps to download. It would have been helpful to explain how the App works. I'm sure Apple will have some documentation on their website eventually but this is a massive headscratcher.
- New Maps App - There are a lot of people complaining about the new Maps app. There is even a tumblr dedicated to how frustrating it is. It is no longer run on Google maps, but Apple's own product. However, I see a lot of potential in this app. Turn-by-turn navigation is going to be a game changer for me. I've always wanted turn-by-turn navigation but I have never wanted to pay for it and I never liked how some of the free apps integrated with my iPhone. If you're looking for alternatives to the new Maps app, check these out.
Still need more information:
- Siri - Everyone's favorite digital assistant, Siri, got a major upgrade with iOS 6. Siri 2.0 can now open applications, can tell you movie times and sports scores, and post Facebook and Twitter updates, and even make a reversation at a restaraunt. Unfortunately, my iPhone 4 does not support Siri. I cannot give an accurate opinion on this but if Siri is truly upgraded, I will love this feature when I get a new iPhone (I cannot wait until I can use my voice to find out a sports score)
What does this mean for mobile phones? Not much. iOS 6 isn't revolutionizing anything. But in my opinion, we are at a point where Apple doesn't need to revolutionize the phone more than it already has. It is about tweaking the phone to make it more efficient, user-friendly and fast. iOS 6 certainly accomplishes that.
If Apple allows companies to integrate their apps into Siri and Passbook with ease, iOS 6 will be a big game-changer for the direction of the mobile market for years to come. This is obvioulsy the early stage of iOS 6's lifespan. It will be interesting to see how developers are able to tap into the vast possibilites of Siri and Passbook's abilities.
I'll leave you with Samsung's newest video ad that mocks the Apple fans for waiting in line for a phone. You'll clearly see why that is the message of their advertisment:
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you know that the iPhone 5 was announced by Apple on Wednesday afternoon. The device is faster and lighter than the iPhone 4S, but the main question everyone is asking is does this revolutionize the market?
The iPhone 5 failed to introduce a technology that the market has requested: NFC (near-field communication), the wireless technology which facilitates payments and short-range data transmissions."
If you're unfamiliar with NFC, it was sparked by the idea to allow your phone to replace your wallet. I personally use an iPhone case right now that lets me store my driver's license and debit card. It's the continuation of the idea that I want a phone that also plays my music because it is one less item to carry around.
While the iPhone 5 won't have NFC, that does not mean the Apple will not be addressing this issue. AllThingsD.com interviewed Apple VP Phil Schiller and he explained why: Apple is offering a different solution and it is coming in their next iOS update, which is set for release on September 19th.
The new App is called "Passbook" and it allows you to access your boarding passes, movie and baseball tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards and more.
It is also time and location based, so you can access your boarding pass as soon as you arrive to the airport without searching for it. It'll also tell you if you're in the wrong terminal.
So what does this mean for your business? Well iOS 6 can put you out of business unless you adapt.
Making your business Passbook-friendly can attract smart phone users to your store. Loyalty-cards can make or break a purchasing decision in this economy for a consumer. It also allows your business to contact the consumer in ways that will drive them to your store by analyzing customer trends.
As Schiller said in his interview with AllThingsD.com: “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today.” It also opens the door for businesses to revolutionize the market.
If you are not looking at Passbook, your competition surely is. Are your customers with iPhones more likely to use a small local coffee shop or Starbucks? Do you want to learn the hard way?
For more on the iPhone 5 announcement, check out the video below:
“The minute we use something in the way that everyone else is doing it, the indifference principle kicks in and all economic gains are competed away.” – Toby Hecht
I’m reminded of this quote every time I hear one of my clients talk about using something like Service Oriented Architecture or Agile and expect to create some competitive advantage.
The quote explains the Indifference Principle in action. The Indifference Principle is the corollary to the third Principle of Economics as written by Gregory Mankiw which states that “Rational People Think On the Margin.” It’s not so difficult to understand when you think about “What is your differentiator?” After all, it’s what makes you different that will trigger assessments of value (or not) with your potential customers.
If you try to use Agile or anything else for that matter, in a way that everyone else is using it, you can’t gain any competitive advantage.
How can I use Agile to ensure I WILL thwart my intentions or business missions?
I’ve included some examples:
When you try to manage resources instead of gaining commitments. Managers must stop managing their people and their projects. Instead they must begin managing the commitments employees make, hold them accountable and reward them when they fulfill them.
When you make excuses for not fulfilling your commitments. Excuses merely hide the underlying reasons why you aren’t successful. If you want to be a high performing team producing competitive advantage, you must be intellectually honest with yourself. Having integrity, whether you are trying to produce a business outcome or scoring a game of golf really does matter when you’re ultimate goal it to accumulate more power.
Continuing to do things the way you’ve always done them. We tell our customers that outcomes are what really matter. If you aren’t getting the results, look at the breakdowns you are producing along the way and adjust. How much time are you spending in reflection about what’s wrong with the way you produce an outcome?
What can I do to avoid this?
When I begin a new project to produce something new, I remember my ultimate purpose and I know the ultimate cost to me if I don’t achieve it. This keeps me grounded.
You must be in action to stay grounded because without grounding you will lose your direction. Without direction your project will drift and you will lose sight of your objectives.
Here is what I recommend:
Look at the results. What metrics are are you capturing that bring meaning to your project? For instance, if you are implementing a new technology, first what is the purpose for the new technology? What is the return you expect on your investment? How do you know you are being successful? Are you capturing all the data you need? How well has your employees adapted and adopted to this new technology?
Get the commitments from your team, don’t give them their commitments. Get commitment and hold people accountable for what they said they would deliver. If they fail, look at the commitment they made and assess if they are competent to make the commitment in the first place. Do they hold the sub-commitments necessary to make the ultimate commitment to you.
Every organization is really an organization of commitments. Without commitment there is no action. If your organization can’t hold commitments, it may be time to re-evaluate the people making the commitments or the commitments themselves. Are they realistic?
Allow your people to be honest in their own assessment of each other’s work. This can be scary in a corporate environment but this is the engine for creating a high performing team. When a team can hold the standard for what defines success, then you have the beginning of a high performing and competitive organization.
For further reading, check out
Gregory Mankiw’s Principle of Economics. You can download the first chapter for free from Amazon’s Kindle Store. All ten of them are described and listed in that first chapter.
Understanding Computers and Cognition by Fernando Flores. This is the penultimate example of what makes a conversation for action and serves as the foundation for Why Status Quo’s process for Agility.
I welcome comments and any new thinking in the section below.
Why Status Quo and Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City
Launch Mobile App for the Cure
Kansas City, Mo. Mobile experience company Why Status Quo Inc., in partnership with
Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Kansas City, is pleased to announce the Mobile App for the Cure, launched to coincide with Kansas City’s Race for the Cure, which will be held on August 12, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo.
The mobile application provides up-to-the-minute information on the KC Race for the Cure and allows users to share tributes in celebration or in memory of breast cancer survivors. Features of the mobile app also include an interactive map of the race course, information on logistics, race schedules and a tribute wall that is also re-posted on the Komen Kansas City Facebook page. The app was provided as a corporate donation to the Komen affiliate by Why Status Quo.
“My own family has been deeply affected by breast cancer and I wanted to create a useful and memorable tool for those also touched by the disease,” said Vince Vaughan, founder and CEO of Why Status Quo. “The Komen mobile app was designed not just for one day, but to help the community stay engaged and connected year-round in the fight against breast cancer.”
“We are grateful for the generous donation of this communications tool to help us share immediate updates with participants in the race, but it doesn’t stop there,” said Komen Greater Kansas City executive director Lori Maris. “We have a number of ideas to continue using this app throughout the year to share important messages and to educate the community about breast health.”
The app is provided free of charge. iPhone users can download the app through iTunes and Android users can download it at the Google Play store.
About the Kansas City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Susan G. Komen for the Cure Kansas City is comprised of passionate people from our region who are passionate in the fight against breast cancer. We impact breast cancer throughout our 17 county service area, including northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Kansas City is committed to action against breast cancer through research, community health and advocacy, all of which are made possible through our fundraising efforts. With the help of passionate volunteers, a dedicated board and staff members, Komen Kansas City has raised nearly $9 million to support breast cancer education, screening and treatment. To learn more, visit www.komenkansascity.org.
About Why Status Quo
Why Status Quo Inc. is a Mobile Experience company helping companies treat their businesses as communities aligning employers, employees, partners and even customers to produce a superior level of customer satisfaction. With their uncommon methodology to delivering software and their highly skilled and adroit approach to helping business Why Status Quo helps their customers produce 25% - 90% returns on their technology investment.
GoMobileKC is a Kansas City mini-conference for mobile entrepreneurs to take place on June 21, 2012 at Think Big Partners’ coworking space, bizperc.
KANSAS CITY, MO—June 13, 2012—GoMobileKC is a mobile mini-conference during One Week KC that will act as the city-wide nerve center for mobile entrepreneurs, app developers and startups to learn, share and lead in a mobile-driven paradigm. The event takes place on June 21, 2012 from 7:00-9:00pm.
GoMobileKC will cover the challenges that many mobile entrepreneurs face, discuss what will happen after the mobile “Gold Rush”, feature presentations from two mobile entrepreneurs and address business challenges from the audience. Speakers include Kirk Hasenzahl, co-founder and CEO of RareWire and Dan Stratman, founder of AirportLife.
Led by Vince Vaughan, president and founder of Why Status Quo, GoMobileKC will leave the audience members with cascades of information about the mobile age and how mobile has impacted entrepreneurship. The audience will walk away with 1) threats to avoid when they don’t use ambition as part of their business strategy, especially when it pertains to mobile; 2) the obligations a business must use when tackling mobile; and 3) an awareness of the opportunities that mobile may have for a today’s Kansas City entrepreneur.
“Mobile is part of a broader revolution,” says Vince Vaughan, organizer of GoMobileKC. “We have gone from computer to social to mobile really fast. It’s almost too much to keep up with. The companies that don’t incorporate mobile as part of their business strategy, will be the ones stuck and left out in the cold.”
GoMobileKC is a part of One Week KC, a nine-day celebration of entrepreneurship from June 18-26, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. The mini-conference is the premier mobile business event taking place during One Week KC. It will feature practical, yet uncommon advice for entrepreneurs, app developers and business leaders interested in taking the leap into the mobile world.
“This is the premier mobile business event taking place during One Week KC,” says Vaughan. “It’s the one event that a mobile entrepreneur has to go to. If they don’t go, they risk ceding ground to competitors already working in this new space.”
GoMobileKC will take place on June 21, 2012 from 7:00-9:00pm Think Big Partners’ coworking space, bizperc, at 1800 Baltimore in Kansas City, Missouri. To learn more about GoMobileKC, visit www.gomobilekc.com.