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Mobile is the future

February 20, 2011

I bet you have a mobile phone.  I bet it’s a smart phone. How many people do you know who do not own cell phones?  How many hours a day is your phone NOT within five feet of you?

I am willing to guess that the answers to the two questions are both: zero.  While maybe not every person in your life has a smart phone, probably all of them have cell phones.  A pretty incredible number of people have mobile phones, particularly in developing parts of the world.  To some, the mobile phone is both phone and computer, with new devices being as powerful as many computers on the market (ahem, Atrix).  As such, mobile is the area of the tech sphere with the most opportunity for growth.  With the app-havy Android and iPhone OS dominating the market, many start ups and veterans alike are setting their sights on mobile.



Last week I had the opportunity to speak with someone from Cint, which is a leading market research firm.  Cint recently acquired the start-up Thumbspeak. Thumbspeak is a mobile based market research application.  Online market research used to be time and cost efficient.  But as the internet became more interesting (think Angry Birds) the people taking said polls found better ways to spend thirty minutes (think Hulu).  While online market research continues to thrive, the demographics have changed.  In comes Thumbspeak.  Thumbspeak is a mobile application available at the moment just for the iPhone, on which participants can take polls.

While I am not running out to go download this application, I am not really the person they are trying to reach.  It seems that Thumbspeak users really do use the application.  That is to say, those who have decided to download the application use it and the participation rates aren’t rivaled by anyone, apparently.  More, the users are taking polls all the time, so adminstators have responses more quickly than ever.

As this is a free-standing application, the possibilities for Thumbspeak are endless.  Brands can customize channels that could potentially be used as customer service vehicles.  Further down the line I could see Thumbspeak or the like replacing Yelp or being a suped-up foursqure.

This really is a glimpse at the power of mobile.  The infrastructure is starting to be developed, now companies just need to decide exactly how to use it.

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