MG Siegler: Develop for Mobile before the Web – Passbook shows you why you should

Posted on September 24, 2012

This weekend MG Siegler, the Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist and erstwhile blogger wrote:

Don’t build an app based on your website. Build the app that acts as if websites never existed in the first place. Build the app for the person who has never used a desktop computer. Because they’re coming. Soon.

His argument is that there are still too many companies and start-ups focusing on the web rather than on the mobile touch interface. Web and touch are two very different channels with different use-cases and different interaction models.

MG’s point is that people are moving to mobile touch, so you should be there, and you should focus on their rather than the web.

Flip your mindset, stop thinking web first, think mobile first because that is what your users are doing. As a business owner, a marketeer, or operations specialist, this is what you need to be doing.

One example of how you should be doing this is with digital coupons and tickets. Your first reflection should be: “How do I get these into Passbook?” Delivering them via a website is more complicated for you and more complicated for the end user. It’s a clear example of how mobile is more apt at certain use-cases than the web.

On a personal note, he also wrote:

I now dread using my computer. I want to use a tablet most of the time. And increasingly, I can. I want to use a smartphone all the rest of the time. And I do.

I agree. I hate having to get my computer out and much prefer being productive on my iPad tablet. For many thinks, I can be. I think this is because of its intimacy and its lightness, something that you don’t experience quite as easily on a desktop, even if it is a Macintosh.