Mobile, RIA’s and Web 2.0

Bumped into a prominent Palo Alto venture capitalist awhile back and — after we’d caught up and had a nice chat — I asked, “So where is your firm focusing investments? What’s hot?” Without skipping a beat he said, “mobile.”

This week has been quite busy so I’ve been out of my office more than usual and thus pretty mobile. I’ve really been leaning on my Palm Treo 700p for email, telephony and web browsing (but I did watch Jobs’ Macworld keynote Tuesday evening on streaming on my laptop and was stunned by the iPhone). That made me think of several things simultaneously:

1) No question that having an amazingly robust computer and multimedia device in our pocket or purse will be life changing

2) 2007 is going to be the year that Rich Internet Applications (RIA’s) accelerate. RIA’s will put phenomenal power in the hands of the creative class to deliver well designed applications that live in or out of a Web browser

3) I have no idea how I’m going to take advantage of all the Web 2.0 applications I’m using since NONE OF THEM are mobile enabled.

While watching Jobs tap-tap on the iPhone to zoom into The New York Times looked phenomenal, it’s still not a replacement for truly mobile enabled data access.

The W3C mobile initiative sums it up best, “While becoming increasingly popular, mobile Web access today still suffers from interoperability and usability problems. W3C’s Mobile Web Initiative (W3C MWI) addresses these issues through a concerted effort of key players in the mobile production chain, including authoring tool vendors, content providers, handset manufacturers, browser vendors and mobile operators.

Cool iPhone’s or not…the current Web isn’t very mobile accessible and I shudder to think what’s next with the acceleration in Web 2.0 applications and the coming evolution in RIA’s. Most of the application creators I deal with and the tools vendors I’ve been following don’t pay much attention to 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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