What Does It Mean When Most Mobile Content Execs Don't Use Their Own Services?

from the eat-your-own-dog-food dept

I vaguely recall a very similar study making waves a few years ago, but can’t find any trace of it right now. However, a recent study of executives working in the mobile content space found that more than half of those surveyed don’t actually use the mobile content they’re pitching. Now, there can be plenty of questions about the methodology here, and it’s not entirely clear from the wording if they asked specifically about the mobile content from that particular exec’s company, or mobile content in general. However, when your own executives can’t be convinced to use the product they’re supposed to convince others to use, there’s a problem. If anything, it suggests that there’s been too much hype in “mobile content” and a bunch of execs have jumped on the bandwagon, not because of an interesting product, but because of the hype. That’s unfortunate. Mobile content should be a big deal, but it’s not as simple as some may think — and if you have bandwagon-riding execs, a lot of time, effort and money is going to get wasted.

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Comments on “What Does It Mean When Most Mobile Content Execs Don't Use Their Own Services?”

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13 Comments
RandomThoughts (user link) says:

Some very senior executives at technology companies don’t read their email. They have their assistant print it out for them. I know senior executives at consulting firms that do this also.

I forget who, but something like the CTO for Sun or some company like that doesn’t have a computer at home or use a mobile devise, not because they don’t understand it but because they don’t want to always be high tech.

jhunter says:

too much

Mobile content is cool, it just costs too damn much. Why am I going to pay $15 month so I can download music videos to my phone when I can get them for free if I just wait to get home? God forbid I try and get the internet on my PDA at $40/month. These are things the mobile carriers should give away to try and attract more customers. I’m month-to-month now and would go right now and change carriers if one would give me Internet on a PDA at a reasonable cost, until then I’m just staying with Verizon because I don’t have a contract.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Goes Deeper

Being a Wireless Expert in Silicon Valley, I see a lot of execs for other wireless firms and startups. There is a certain level of competition to have the latest phone or gadget, largely as “status symbols”. Not status as in wealth, but status as a geek.

That said, I usually have my share of geek chic. But it’s usually the case that the people with a new Smartphone or gadget on their belt DON’T know how to use it. They use it as a phone, and perhaps the email that was configured by their IT department, but I often get negative responses to the following:

– What 3rd party apps do you recommend?
– Have you installed any 3rd party apps?
– How do you like the mapping/GPS capability of that device?

I’d say about half the people I meet are fellow geeks who have played extensively with the device, and half couldn’t really care less. As for me, getting a new gadget is a bittersweet occurrence, as I’m very likely to spend the entire night playing with it. Entire meaning, “Damn is that dawn?” is how it usually ends.

That said, I’m not sure I’ve seen any correlation between ‘ability to do job’ and ‘ability to use their device’. It seems that passion is beneficial for certain roles, but many management roles don’t require it. Even though it would be an improvement, not every person at your company NEEDS to be passionate about the tech.

DP81 says:

I agree that it is important for company execs to be familiar with how their product works and what users can do with it. While it is true that you can understand something without actually doing it, I feel gaining knowledge of user experience can only really be addressed through a company actively using their product along with its customers.

I work with WidSets, which is a free platform for obtaining and creating widgets that expedite access to mobile content. The company execs helped create the original platform/widgets and continue to use them. We know user experience is critical to driving adoption of mobile content, so the company makes it imperative that everyone use the tools and help create new ones.

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