“On-the-go” is the new “sitting still”. As stated by Mary Meeker at AllThingsD –
Mobile traffic now accounts for 10 percent of overall traffic and overall mobile revenue is surging, but companies built around desktop-web economics are scared by the fact that mobile ads are seen as far less valuable: five times less valuable than desktop Internet ads, Meeker said.
I posit this is, in general, because users aren’t engaging with ads that don’t fit their mobile experience. It hasn’t been nailed yet; the AdSense of mobile.
The migration to mobile represents a sea change in the way people use computers. Whenever you are designing a product think about how people will use it on-the-go.
It’s not just a replication of your website, smaller. Whether your users are browsing, buying, or creating content — on-the-go every second is crucial.
On mobile platforms, the art is not what you add but what you take away. Think about the 3 things (tops) that matter to your users in your product, and streamline those use cases.
It’s like going on a year long mountain trek with only a backpack. What would you take?
UPDATE: Last night Jean-Louis Gassée wrote of the challenges facing mobile monetization in the Monday Note. We agree that a truly engaging mobile ad experience has yet to be created, but our conclusions differ. Jean-Louis states –
When we sit down in front of a laptop or desktop screen, our attention is (somewhat) focused and our time is (reasonably) committed. We know where we are and what we’re doing.
With smartphones, we’re on the move, we’re surrounded by people, activities, real-world attractions and diversions….
…Mobile ads aren’t merely smaller, they have less expressive power, they don’t seduce…and they’re annoying.
Gassée believe the $20B mobile opportunity is a mirage; I think there’s still hope left.
P.S. A good anecdote about simplicity in product design.