Outgoing Google CEO Eric Schmidt Gives 10 Reasons Why 'Mobile First'
1/28/2011 by: Tomi Ahonen
An absolute must-read article in Information Week/Global CIO, is the interview of Google's CEO Eric Schmidt who last week announced he is stepping down and taking a more focused view at Google. Six years ago, Eric Schmidt was the first major CEO of an internet giant company to say that the internet is going mobile and he then astonished the business world last year, saying Google's new strategy was 'Mobile First'.
Now he gives his 10 reasons why mobile is - and why mobile will remain the most important technology. He obviously insists all companies should prioritize mobile as the highest priority. I am not going to excerpt much from the article, I urge all visitors to go and read that article. There are a few gems in it, truly great ones. He says mobile is capable of enabling solutions that seem most like magic to him right now. He gives the example of Google Goggles as one such example. I would add many more, starting with Augmented Reality and Improved Reality the astonishing technologies on mobile right now.
I just saw Layar present on Friday in Malmo at the Cross Media Lab conference on Location-Based Services run by XML, where I delivered a keynote. Layar showed a couple of clever AR solutions that enable us to experience something that doesn't exist anymore - the Berlin Wall and the World Trade Center. You walk to the right spot, view the scene without the iconic buildings, and take out your phone, and looking through the phone you see the building as if it was there. Imagine the Berlin Wall, when it was up, even the locals could not go see what it looked like from 'the other side'. Ie an East German on East Berlin side would always see the wall obstructing their view and passage to freedom, but they could not go see what it looked like to West Germans. Now with AR, we can experience it.
Back to Eric Schmidt. He has a great list, perhaps a bit showing his age and his background back to his time at Sun computers. A couple of points to highlight. Moore's Law, obviously. The reach of mobile into every pocket, something we have been chronicling on this blog for years (and I will soon have the 2011 numbers posted on this blog). Kids! The way teenagers are able to multi-task, and the fact, that they never need an 'off switch' from their technology and how it all centers around mobile. Very good stuff and reads a bit like early parts of most of my presentations.
He then shows us why the future will be even more mobile. It is because of the connectedness explosion. We will be connecting ever more people, devices, pets, plants, etc - all via mobile, not via the traditional internet or television or any other technology. This all relates to the article I wrote last week as the Fortune 500 CEO Guide to Mobile. That the internet did not, and cannot, change the lives for people in some industries like Fishing, Farming, Forestry - where even literacy is not needed - but mobile is already changing all of those. That is why I wrote my 'How You Because a Mogul in Mobile [and a Millionaire]?"
I love it that Eric Schmidt ends his interview on the biggest reason he sees for the power of mobile. He explains it is the connectivity, that we need to be able to be reached, and that is why we all insist on carrying our phones everywhere, and we do not turn them off. This is the fundamental truth to why mobile wins, not that its small and pocketable, but because it delivers to us that ability which I wrote about all those years ago, in my second book in 2002, and I called it 'Reachability'. That is the 'magic sause', that is the 'secret ingredient' that powers mobile. That is why the iPhone, even though it costs more, outsells the iPod Touch, a similarly desirable Apple iconic device, which is as pocketable. But the iPhone has 'reachability' and the iPod Touch cannot do reachability, it only works in sporadic connectedness, like our laptops, our desktop PCs, our landline telephones, and even the new hot iPads. Reachability is the heart of why we are addicted to the mobile phone, and if we are forced to forego all other devices and can only carry one, we will select our mobile phone as the one device we take. Like going to the theater or a wedding reception or a funeral etc.
But I want to end on Eric Schmidt's 5th reason. He gives advice to all companies and says they should "Put your best people on mobile projects." This is a must-read article, very useful and precise and covering the vast range of the mobile opportunity. Remember, Google has been recruiting many of the best minds in the world to join them, and buying many of the hottest companies - with all that intellect in-house, the CEO says that "the answer to all projects should be mobile." It all comes back to the issues I raised in my Fortune CEO Guide to Mobile last week, and these all are matters I discuss in my 10th book, the Insider's Guide to Mobile. When you and your project get started on its mobile dimension, send every one of your members to download that ebook and to share it with everybody.
For those who need numbers on the industry, remember my TomiAhonen Phone Book 2010 was just relased two weeks ago, and that my new TomiAhonen Almanac 2011 will be released shortly, you can pre-order the Almanac and get the 2010 edition now for no extra cost, thrown in.
Eric Schmidt, Google, GOOG, CIO, CEO, CTO, Information Week, Mobile First, Mobile First strategy, Mobile Technology, Mobile Phone, Augmented Reality, Improved Reality, Google Goggles, Layar, Malmo, Cross Media Lab, Fortune 500,
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