I recently saw a magazine ad for the iPhone. This ad was promoting the app store, and was specifically pushing small business apps. “Helping you run your small business, one app at a time” was the headline of the ad. This post isn’t about the iPhone per se, although my friends know how I mock their Apple toys, and how I compare the iPhone to the Range Rover: overpriced, unreliable, and purchased primarily for brand status. Hmmm, maybe I should compare it to a Gucci purse instead….
Anyway, the point is not the iPhone; the point is some of these ridiculous apps. I call them ridiculous because they do things that nobody needs to do while mobile. Let me list a few here:
- Nomia: Get help picking a business name, finding available domain names and running trademark searches.
- Analytics: See how your website is doing with reports showing visitors, page views, etc.
- Credit Card Terminal: Accept customer credit card payments right on your phone.
Here’s the thing: I do run a small business, and I have never had the urge to do any of those things while mobile. When I’m analyzing my website or processing orders, I’m doing it at my computer, so that I can make adjustments or run things through my accounting software. I can certainly imagine circumstances where one might want to do such things while on the run, but those circumstances are rare.
Some might say: why be tethered to your computer? But I retort: why be connected all the time? Do you really want to check your website performance while at the beach? I relish the chance to disconnect. As more and more Americans are complaining about lack of time to think, or play, or spend with their kids, do we really need to be online more? Instead of apps that let you look at your website stats while on the bus, maybe Apple should promote apps that remind you to read to your children.
The last paragraph really did it for me. Nice post.
I have reached a quiet point in my life. My cell phone is gone, gone are frantic pages, gone are late night calls from the office. I do not have television, I almost always have three or four books going.
All I can say to people who have to have these gadgets is this: I feel badly for you. I hope you get through this.
The siren song of the gadget is hard to resist. I spend far more time on my blackberry than I should, so I certainly understand. But email is one thing, and looking up possible domain names is another. Mission critical vs. mission whatever.