by Ron Daly
I caught a look at this article from BankInnovation about Bank of America’s mobile users. Recently, BofA Senior VP Marc Warshawsky disclosed that the number of mobile logins to their electronic banking services outnumbered the “online” logins (that is, from a personal computer) for the first time. Apparently, BofA customers can’t get enough of the megabank’s mobile apps. Warshawsky had a few words for how to manage mobile as smartphone penetration increases.
From the article:
How should banks approach mobile? “Think like a software company,” Warshawsky said. But he added a word of caution to developers: “Not everything is the right thing to do for customers just because you can do it.”
A sharp observation. But I wonder what he means by “think like a software company”, especially when software companies aren’t really “companies” these days – some are just a handful of developers, or even one developer, working remotely to make an app. Hard for a company as large as BofA to tell other large institutions that the key to success is thinking small and light, don’t you think?
To try and expand on this very small soundbite and think it out a bit, I made some notes. Tell me if you agree or not:
Step 1: Function first, form second, platform third
If I were a developer, I would want to create a product first and foremost. What’s the pain I’m trying to salve over with this app? Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper, had a single goal in mind: make articles easy to read when you’re able to read them. He worked hard to create the code that would strip out all the ads from an article and present the information in a way that was easy on the eyes (Instapaper makes it easy to adjust brightness and font size – great for guys like me who love their iPad and hate having to find their glasses). He then brought that to bear on the iPhone, the Kindle, the computer monitor, the iPad…and now that he’s sold a majority stake to BetaWorks, you’ll likely see the app on every platform out there. But what makes it worth the time and money? Simple – it does one thing well on the back end and presents it beautifully on the front end, no matter which “front end” you’re using.continue reading »