A Sneak Peek Of SC Moatti’s New Book, Mobilized

If you didn’t already know, Leanplum is all about mobile. With that in mind, today, we’re excited to share with you a new book from our friend SC Moatti — Mobilized: An Insider’s Guide to the Business and Future of Connected Technology.

This book is recommended reading for anyone in the mobile or tech space. To give you a preview of what you can expect, here are the five burning questions that this book answered for us.

the future of mobile

1. Why Mobile-First Really Means Human-First

The backbone of SC’s book is The Mobile Formula, which is made up of the universal trilogy of mind, body, and spirit. She writes that, “these three human-first principles are at the core of great mobile products.”

This formula is made up of three rules:

  1. The Body Rule, which tells us how to create beautiful mobile products.
  2. The Spirit Rule, which explains how to make sure mobile products focus on the things that matter to us.
  3. The Mind Rule, which describes how mobile products effectively adapt to and survive in the constantly evolving mobile landscape.

mobilized, the mobile formula

Successful mobile-first companies are also human-first companies. This is because at its core, creating mobile products is more than about technology or innovation or creativity. It’s about creating products that we love because they mean something to us.

2. What Does Beauty in Mobile Look Like?

Beauty in mobile is about more than just a pretty design or a fancy logo. SC breaks it down into two priorities: efficiency and “wow.”

Efficiency on mobile means that nothing is wasted, and it passes the thumb test. Beauty increases with simplicity, and decreases with complexity. The thumb test means that, “a task should be easily completed by a user with a thumb of average size and without incidentally hitting an unrelated link, button, or other design element by mistake.”

Simple isn’t just better, it’s best. Wow simply means that it triggers a strong emotion; a visceral experience. This too can be confirmed with a simple test: the mom test. The mom test comes from the founder of Flipboard:

“Think about how the average person … might react to a product. They need to get what the product is about and be able to use it. And, they need to want to use it.” — Mike McCue

Wow means creating something that delights.

3. Where Do We Find Meaning In Mobile?

Meaning in mobile comes from personalization and community. Personalization in this context means that we feel taken care of, that our mood and the place we’re in is recognized.

SC says that, “feeling taken care of in ways we cannot provide to ourselves is a reflection of what is important to us, of what has inner meaning to us,” and from this, “a bond naturally develops from this extreme personalization, similar to any relationship.”

Think of the feeling you get when an acquaintance remembers your birthday and gives you a thoughtful gift. That person has recognized something about you and connected with it in a way that you weren’t expecting. This is an action that creates value.

Community in this context means establishing social norms and rituals that make us feel like we belong. We find this in mobile when we feel like we are participating in or sharing something that is bigger than ourselves; something that continues the conversation and doesn’t cut it off.

As SC points out, “because mobile is still new in our lives, we have not yet established norms and rituals for it.” It just as easy to destroy this feeling of community with mobile as it is to create it.

4. How Can Mobile Products Learn and Adapt?

In the mobile world, there must be an even balance between the tortoise and the hare. SC argues that, “to be successful, mobile products must adapt constantly. They do it fast, and slow.”

They must be fast when learning from their users and adapting to their needs — as a matter of survival in a competitive landscape if nothing else. Human wants and needs are fickle and often impulsive. Unfortunately for creators of mobile products, we expect the same fluidity of our technology. They must be slow when breaking new ground and

They must be slow when breaking new ground and forging new paths. Iterate and improve. The phrase, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” comes to mind here, or as SC says, “[the] slow journey to mastery takes time.” Innovation means charting new territory and familiarizing yourself with the unfamiliar. Although it might be preferable otherwise, there is no substitution for the long, slow work of becoming an expert in an area. They must be slow when breaking new ground and forging new paths.

5. What Does Mobile Success in the Future Look Like?

In the end, it all comes down to the Mobile Formula. To determine if your mobile product has a viable future, plug it into the formula:

  1. The Body Rule, does it connect us more intimately with our surroundings, both people and things?
  2. The Spirit Rule, does it help us find meaning in a world of information overload?
  3. The Mind Rule, does your product learn alongside human development and our changing needs?

What SC has tapped into here is the need for a human purpose and connection in our mobile devices. Above all else, SC argues that, “great mobile products replicate and amplify human behavior and interaction.” The mobile revolution can change our lives for the better as long as it is “based on an unyielding attention to humanity as opposed to the machines that serve it.”

The future of mobile

Note: All quotes and references in this article are from SC Moatti’s new book, “Mobilized: An Insider’s Guide to the Business and Future of Connected Technology.”


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