Russell Beattie announced the End of Mowser (mowser converted any website into a mobile friendly version) yesterday was not a huge shock. Russell said in his blog post that “growth has been flat or falling for the past couple months”, but it seemed more like an indicator to abandon the project than anything else.
Now the question you might be asking is why not stick with it a little longer? Get a contract or something and tough it out since it’s “only” been a year, and many companies have had to struggle for a lot longer than that before taking off. Beyond the fact that I’m irretrievably in debt, the general answer is that I don’t actually believe in the “Mobile Web” anymore, and therefore am less inclined to spend time and effort in a market I think is limited at best, and dying at worst. I’m talking specifically about sites that are geared 100% towards mobile phones and have little to no PC web presence. Two years ago I was convinced that the mobile web would continue to evolve in the West to mimic what was happening in countries like Japan and Korea, but it hasn’t happened, and now I’m sure it isn’t going to.
I’ve written about the importance of mobile Internet access before and I if people perceive hurdles incorrectly, they will not jump through them. There are some annoying hurdles in the mobile web space, many of them mental. When I am at Borders or Barnes & Noble I only sometimes remember I can compare prices at Amazon with my mobile. It is a tough mental shift.
Mobile browsing will not be a simple handoff.
Not a good example of the mobile web, but compare the mobile email usage stats of a blackberry user, versus a windows mobile user (using a non qwerty phone). The difference will be clear because one got mobile emailing right.
I love the mobile web, despite its faults and I think others will come around once they can wrap their heads around it and once the barrier to entry is eliminated.
Is the Mobile Web Dead? Some Mobile Entrepreneurs Say Yes – Marshall Kirkpatrick / April 14, 2008 5:29 PM
Dion Almaer makes a great point, The future of the Mobile Web is strong:
“But, just because he couldn’t find the right niche for Mowser, doesn’t mean the “mobile Web” is dead before born.”
Hmm… And if we look at what Russell Beattie said of Mowser’s traffic:
Easily 80% of Mowser’s traffic has been related to porn
I know zero about the porn industry itself, but this has to be a sign of something. A missed opportunity?
Mobile browsing will be huge.