Hey Google – Desktops May Indeed Be Replaced by Mobile Phones (but screens/monitors won’t)

By Sean Fenlon on March 5, 2010

The article below was sent to me by Sandy Kory of Media Venture Partners.

In three years desktops will be irrelevant – Google sales chief

Here is my reply, my thoughts, and my position:

I think that the Eric Schmidt quote is valid if not perfect, but mobile means portable, not best-possible-interface-experience.

I read the article at my desk while eating my lunch salad. I doubt I would’ve done the same on a mobile screen.

I think the article and the quotes are missing a few fundamentals of human nature.

  1. Information workers actually like to SIT DOWN during a good chunk of the work day.
  2. If you’re going to sit down, you’re going to sit at a desk.
  3. If you’re sitting at a desk, a mobile screen is an inadequate (if not ridiculous) experience.

If the article focused on the desktop BOX, I can then see the trajectory much better. I can certainly envision a day in the next ten years where the iPhone is more powerful than a fully-loaded Dell Server (processing, memory, storage, etc.), but still needs to be mobile – hence a small screen. Perhaps the video display will be a projector onto a wall, or perhaps a Bluetooth 10.0 connection to a monitor/keyboard while the iPhone stays in your pocket, but when it comes to screen size for a seated user, bigger is better. Just ask TV manufacturers. Same goes for full-size keyboards.

One of the premises of the article that should be explored more, however, is that almost all PC’s (and most Macs) are not good LIVE communication devices (voice or voice+video).

Sure, you can kluge your way through with IM, Skype, iChat, or something similar but until a computer is a standard/ubiquitous LIVE communication device, it will never be good for selling something to a consumer. Mobile devices, however, by virtue are first and foremost LIVE communication devices (which you can sell something to a consumer using).

Some of the reasons Internet lead data capture has helped catapult the growth of lead gen is because it’s free capture (“outsource” any labor cost of the capture to the consumer) and the captured data allows for filtering and segmented pricing.

Most Pay-per-Call players do not have any additional data and therefore cannot offer filtering or segmented pricing, which is the main reason why Internet lead gen is bigger than Pay-per-Call by orders of magnitude.

DoublePositive merges the best of these worlds. Our platform can accept LIVE inbound calls (from perhaps a “Click-to-Call for More Information” offer on a mobile phone). We can stop the call with one of our call center agents, capture additional data (for filtering and price segmenting), and then transfer the live call and the data to the advertiser/lead-buyer. The end user gets the advantage of a LIVE call and also the filtered/segmented data. Of course, we also confirm consumer interest/intent.

I’m biased but I think we’re nicely positioned to help mobile advertising really command the highest and best economic use of the devices and their inventory.

I’m eager for a desktop in my pocket or my belt-clip. :-)


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