There’s an old story about a government official who decided to shut the patent office down because “everything had been invented.” The story says this happened because the airplane, automobile, and television were already on the market, so what else was left? It’s a great illustration of the fact that each generation thinks nothing new remains.
The story is just that – a story. But everyone who hears it has a similar response. We think of computers, DVD players, microwave ovens, all the things that have been invented since that time when “everything had been invented.” The same logic occurs today when someone suggests mobile devices have evolved as far as they ever will. All the apps and performance capabilities have been created. It won’t get better than this.
The truth, as we all should know by now, is that we’re only beginning. Camera capabilities will improve, while tools like Apple’s FaceTime hint at the future of phone calls in general. Video chat and Voice Over IP (VoIP) are only beginning to take off with a large number of Skype users. Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype hints that one day video chat will be a part of everything we do.
Another common myth is that mobile devices like smart phones will never replace desktop and laptop computers. The success of the iPad shows what the public wants. Today’s computer user no longer uses a computer only for word processing. For younger generations, TV shows, movies, music, even books, are stored on smart phones and tablets. Users are increasingly relying on mobile devices for everything, and this is likely to become more prevalent as time goes on. It is important that today’s small business prepare for this future growth and adapt accordingly.
According to Washington Technology, another myth is that mobile devices cannot be adapted to technology. Small businesses must always keep in mind that all websites and apps be accessible to those with disabilities. A good web developer will be aware of these needs and know how to design specifically to these audiences.
At a recent government conference called Lowering the Cost of Government with I.T., FedScoop discussed one of the most dangerous myths of all. For governments looking to reach constituents via technology, the assumption that smart phones and apps are only for the rich and the young is all wrong. In fact, making that assumption can lead governments to miss an important marketing tool for its specific audience.
For small businesses, the same principles apply. More and more businesses are turning to social media and smart phone apps to reach target demographics. Assuming smart phone apps are simply for children playing video games leaves out the numerous moms using grocery store apps and 20-somethings checking in on social media sites. Study your current customer base and ask how that group might be using mobile devices for daily activities. That, experts say, is the key to reaching customers through modern technology.