When legacy interferes with mobile

Dan and Chip Heath call it the curse of knowledge in their book “Made to Stick” and Clayton Christensen calls it a dilemma in his book “The Innovators Dilemma.” What they are talking about is legacy – the way things have always been done. The business you know, right now. And, for many companies and individuals, this is what limits potential.

See if this sounds familiar to you: A newspaper company launches their mobile strategy by simply repeating the same thing they do in print but this time in a mobile app. Or: A radio station releases a mobile app that simply streams the same radio station but this time to a phone. Or: A web services company that replicates the exact same service they offer on the web but this time to a mobile app.

The curse of knowledge. Legacy is a comfort zone that will kill companies.

Instead of thinking linearly – as in let’s just move our existing product offering from one medium to a completely new medium – these companies should be looking at ways that mobile can complement their existing offering or open brand new revenue or audience development opportunities. News on mobile devices is a competitive world – much more so than the local power a paper has in its community. What else could that paper do to enhance a citizen’s day and not try to compete with the other national news organizations? Think super local instead of super national.

Thinking that a mobile strategy means just more of the same but on mobile is equivalent to radio stations broadcasting a video of someone turning the pages of a newspaper – wrong for the medium, wrong for their business. Wrong.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of UNTETHER.tv and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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