The three things you need to know before taking your business mobile

May 19, 2016Best Practices

This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post.

Increasingly, businesses are focusing their time and budget on going mobile. But without good execution, it’s extremely easy to fail! There are three elements of a mobile product that make it a success – they must be beautiful, they must understand us, and they must learn about us as we use them.

1. The best mobile products are physically and functionally beautiful.

All successful mobile products are beautiful, but how to define their beauty? In mobile, beauty comes from two things: efficiency and what I call “wow.”

Because of the small size of mobile products, nothing can be wasted. Mobile designers need to be efficient. They distill tasks and flows to their essence.

The visceral feeling we get when we see a beautiful mobile product skips our consciousness. Their beauty confounds us. Mobile designers need to build products that wow us in this way.

2. The best mobile products focus on what matters to us.

One of the most disruptive aspects of mobile products is that they are with us always. To be successful, they need to understand what matters to us and help us get it. This comes through personalization and community.

The more mobile products know about us, the more personalized they become. They understand what matters to us as individuals with unique feelings and emotions. So people come to rely on them extensively and then become emotionally attached to them.

Mobile also helps us focus on what matters in our communities, where social rules and rituals are needed.

3. The best mobile products learn as we use them.

Mobile products must constantly adapt. They become successful by learning both fast and slow.

On mobile, user behaviors and technology change at an incredibly rapid pace. Mobile companies understand that the more people use their product, the better it gets. They need to learn fast to adapt to changing expectations and conditions.

On the other hand, they also need to learn slow. They have no choice but to reinvent themselves over the long haul by reaching new users, launching new products, or inventing new business models.

Those 3 elements make up what I call the Mobile Formula, a set of three rules every mobile product must follow in order to succeed.

To learn more about the mobile formula, including how to apply it to your own company, read my book, mobilized: an insider’s guide to the business and future of connected technology or visit