Just one word….mobile

In the movie The Graduate starring Dustin Hoffman, Mr. McGuire (a family friend) is giving career advice to Hoffman’s character Benjamin, “I want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening?” Benjamin says, “Yes, I am.” McGuire then leans in and says, in a low voice, “Plastics.

If that scene was repeated today, that one word spoken in a knowing, low voice would be “Mobile.

No less than three venture capitalists I’m connected with (all of whom have made major bets on mobile offerings), a friend that runs public sector and education for a major mobile smartphone company, and several friends that own their own companies concur…the world is accelerating toward mobile.

Apple’s iPhone got a lot of attention and rightfully so. This article in eWeek, however, spells out what’s happening globally that’s significantly more important than what is happening in the US…namely that mobile devices dwarf all other connection types:

Global sales of mobile phones totaled a record 1.02 billion units in 2006, an increase of 25 percent over 2005, and 299.6 million units in the fourth quarter, a survey found on Thursday.

Right now, my Treo 700p lets me connect to: Google search; Google Maps; Yahoo News; to my IM via an application called Toccer; a Flight Status app; my RSS reader, Newsgator;  and essentially anything on the Web. Though not as easy to use as I like, I still have access to the world’s information in my hand wherever I happen to be at the moment. How huge is that…and we have only just begun connecting humans to the internet with a variety of device types and applications!

My excitement over the coming acceleration in rich, internet applications in 2007 is palpable but, at the same time, my concern is growing. Anything my clients deploy or use on the Web — especially if repurposed as RIA’s — needs to be accessible with mobile devices. There is still a tremendous amount of work necessary (e.g., the W3C Mobile Initiative) but a big chunk of the future is summed up in that one word….mobile.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.