serving ISVs gives an interesting perspective on technology and its adaptation. like a few years back, none of our clients gave .NET a second look. today even the most diehard Microsoft haters are jumping onto the .NET bandwagon.
interestingly in the last 1 year or so almost every third person we talk to is doing something in the mobile space or planning to dosomething in this space. be it workflow applications, communication applications, enterprise applications, mobile seems to be the flavour of the month.
i was at a conference in february when Mike Short of O2 compared the mobile space to the Wild West. he was right. being a new technology frontier, the application providers in this space are all pioneers. the technology is largely nascent and experienced skills, whilst available, are not run of the mill. Business models, channels to market, product offerings - all are still being tried out and it is very much a 'trial by error' scenario at a macro level.
it is interesting to compare Geoffrey Moore's 'Crossing the Chasm' bell curve to the adaptation of mobile technologies.I would put all those mobile application developers in the Innovators category and would give about 3-5 years for early adopters to arrive in terms of established ISVs offering mobile solutions. i think those who have viable products and have a sustainable business plan in the mobile space will be around in the next 5 years as market leaders with a high margin business at the moment, but move on to low-medium margin-high volume business as competitors start to emerge and their value propositions become more mainstream.
Ajit Jaokar's Mobile Applications Club and his blog http://www.opengardensblog.futuretext.com/
is a good forum to network with application providers and movers and shakers in the mobile space. what strikes me is most mobile application providers seem to be B2C organizations with the rare B2B application provider.
in the last few decades we saw a few momentous shifts in technology - the advent of the mainframe, client server computing, Windows, the WWW (or.com,whichever way you view it) , and i think the next big thing will be Mobile. i am not yet sure if Mobile will attract the same hype or will enable the same kind of wealth creation we saw in the .COM days, but i would be surprised if it didnt.
so if there are wannabe entrepreneurs out there who are seeking their next big idea, i would suggest the Mobile/Wirelesss domain be one they focus on...
there is also Nano.. but more on that in another blog.