Blog Post: What Do You Do When You Are The Exception?

One of my favorite traditions is to blog about the musings of fellow thinkers in the mobile space. Granted, it’s usually to point out where I think they are wrong or misguided. The hope, however, is that by showing respect for the work being done and pose provoking questions we can get to a better place in the industry.

Such is the case with Nick Statt’s post on ReadWrite about Google I/O and what it means for the mobile web.

There is nothing particularly disagreeable with his article. As an avid Chrome desktop and iOS user, I am very encouraged by the innovation achieved in the browser. The gaming aspects in particular seem to be teeming with areas of growth. The only area I would like to question is at the end:

It will take time and effort to re-architect websites for this reality. And there will always be those holdouts- particularly within large, slow-moving businesses – who insist on designing for older versions of Web browsers or mobile devices. Legacy technologies which haven’t made the cross-platform leap, like Adobe’s fading Flash, need to be winnowed out. But those problem areas will increasingly be the exception, not rule.

For sites like ReadWrite, and other sites where consumption is the main purpose, this seems like a reasonable proposition. I do not have the same luxury. I work in the automotive industry, otherwise known as one of the “large, slow-moving businesses.” 

So what happens when you are part of the exception? 

Our customer sites for sure need to be a single platform. The idea of selling people desktop and mobile sites separately may seem way out-dated, but is still done in many market segments. The main question our customers are asking is how we can pack all the current features they need into a single, responsive platform.

The answer we give is an ongoing solution. Instead of doing a straight migration to a new architecture, we are having to use data and interviews to weigh the need of every button and link. Granular inspection of our product line and deliver the same value with a more streamlined base of code.

I took this job because I knew the industry was ripe for disruption by the right technological innovation. Any retail industry should be rethinking it’s digital strategy to turn mobile browsers into purchasers, and buying cars is no different. One last quote from the piece:

Let’s just have one Web. That seems easier.

Mr. Statt should be commended for trying to push for one Web. I stand in agreement with him in that declaration. How we all get there will be different sized boulders going up various mountains. I hope I can be a part of the conversation that includes the solution.


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