November 12, 2020

Mobile First Firms Have 825% Higher Value Compared To Companies with No Mobile Focus

Jim Harris
Magazine Article

The COVID Crisis Accelerating Mobile Dominance

MOBILE FIRST FIRMS have a 825% higher value upon IPO than companies with no mobile focus, highlighting how essential mobile is for success. This is a staggering finding from the 2020 Mobile Report by App Annie. Here are a few reasons:

Mobile first firms scale far faster than physically based enterprises. Uber which was founded in March 2009 is worth more than every taxicab company in North American added together!

Supercomputer In My Pocket
In 1997, IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov. For IBM, this was a $100 million project. Today the $1,000 smartphone I carry in my hip pocket has more raw computing power than Deep Blue. Companies that have no mobile focus are choosing not to use the smartphone supercomputer that rests in billions of peoples’ pockets or purses.

The highest revenue for any non-gaming app is . . . Tinder. Tinder uses geo location to match users with others nearby. In the same way, LetGo and OfferUP use geo location to allow local buyers and sellers of second hand items to instantly connect. Both companies are less than 10 years old and each have a valuation of $1.5 billion. In March 2020, they announced that they will combine their US operations.

All Needs
Millennials and GenZ live a mobile-centric life. They turn to their mobile to connect, for entertainment, for dating and relationships, for buying and selling, for researching purchases, for health and fitness, education, work, leisure, watching video and movies and staying connected with family. The literally use it for everything. The experience and expectations that these two generations have in gaming and in using dating apps like Tinder they bring to every other company and industry.

COVID Driving Surge in Application Use Globally
During Q1 of 2020, mobile use surged by 20% compared to Q1 2019, driven by the COVID crisis, notes Lexi Sydow, Senior Market Insights Manager at App Annie. In 2019, the average global smartphone user spent 3 hours and 40 minutes on their smartphone per day. During the COVID crisis that spiked to 4 hours and 20 minutes in April 2020. How many firms have the luxury of choosing not to interact with the primary media their customers use?

Uber Eats saw its business grown 89% in April 2020. How many companies can claim that kind of growth with the economic lockdown?

And while gaming and entertainment apps have seen significant growth, business app downloads have almost doubled on average compared to 2019:

Source: App Annie The Impact of Coronavirus on the Mobile Economy

Future Growth
Gen Z (born 1997 and later) spend 40% more time on mobile. Gen Z is already the largest US demographic, highlighting how mobile will continue to grow.

Asset managers retain less than one third of assets of clients upon death, because they don’t have a relationship with the next generation or serve their clients’ children in the way they wish to be served. This is why investment firms need a mobile first focus even thought their current clients (aging boomers) aren’t asking for them.

COVID Consequences Are Profound & Will Be Permanent
It took 10 years for eCommerce to grow by 11% – from 5.6% in 2009 to 16.3% in 2019. And then COVID hit and online shopping grew by 11% in 8 weeks. (from 16.3% in 2019 to 27% at the end of May 2020).

While every other retailer is shuttered (with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies), Amazon has had to hire 175,000 people during this period to keep up with orders. Millions of people are being forced to be introduced to the ease and convenience of eCommerce. And it’s not just Amazon that’s benefitting from surging demand, experienced a 74% surge in online sales in Q1 of 2019. The majority of eCommerce page views are mobile.

Source: Bank America, US Department of Commerce, ShawSpring Research

Mobile shouldn’t be an afterthought to any company’s strategy, to thrive in the post-COVID world, it must be central.

Jim Harris is the author of Blindsided which focuses on disruptive innovation. It is published in 80 countries worldwide and is a #1 international bestseller. He speaks at virtual conferences and webinars internationally. Subscribe to this YouTube channel at follow him on Twitter @JimHarris or email him at

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