Transitioning To a Mobile Centric World | Above the Crowd | By Bill Gurley

Terrific article from Benchmark Capital’s Bill Gurley about how the world is moving mobile. His observations about the growing influence and benefits of mobile devices and applications are spot-on:

For a large variety of applications and services, users favor mobile applications over browser based applications. Over 45% of Yelp’s* searches begin on mobile. For Zillow*, 50% of home views are now on mobile. For each and every Internet company out there, mobile is rising as a percentage of all user visits. Mobile applications are instantly accessible as the smartphone is always with you. The applications can also leverage mobile-only features such as GPS search and the camera interface. And many of them, like the DirecTV application, are simply designed better.

Where does Bill see things going?

We are now seeing a new transition – away from the browser and back towards stand-alone applications, this time on mobile devices. We are also seeing the emergence of mobile-only companies whose presence is singularly focused on mobile as opposed to the browser based Internet.

He also has good recommendations for companies as they “map the mobile application transition.” For companies looking to acquire mobile apps, these are the ones that seem most relevant to us:

  • Design takes on a greater role. Users favor mobile applications that are crisp, clean, and quickly responsive.
  • Feature depth is inherently limited. Consumers clearly dislike deeply nested features on mobile phones. They prefer the remote control “one button” experience.
  • The platforms are still evolving. iOS and Android are dynamic platforms, and both Apple and Google are still evolving their corporate strategy for each. Google would likely favor an HTML centric world that returns search on the smartphone to the central place it holds on the browser (notice the recent voice search announcement). As they invented the app-centric Smartphone world we inhabit, Apple is likely to keep pushing in this direction.

You can read Bill full article and see the complete list of key considerations for moving to mobile here: Transitioning To a Mobile Centric World | Above the Crowd | By Bill Gurley.