The Next Gold Rush

The Next Gold Rush

There’s an enormous market opening up and frankly nobody is paying enough attention.

By the end of this decade three quarters of all internet users, 5.4 billion people, will be mobile-only. This means 100’s of millions of people will be starting, and running, businesses exclusively from their mobile phones.

When we think of digital tools for businesses, we think of SaaS. Naturally the leading B2B SaaS companies have responsive layouts and mobile apps, but the mobile user is undeniably a second class citizen. If you survey the SaaS landscape, you’ll soon see what I mean...

Salesforce, Atlassian, Zoom, Workday, Slack etc - you name it, their mobile offerings suck compared to the desktop experience. You wouldn’t want to support your business exclusively via your phone using those tools, so why would 5.4 billion other people?

To be clear, I’m not saying go and build the next Atlassian and nail the mobile experience, I want us to go further. I’m saying build the next Atlassian, but 100% for mobile devices, with no desktop experience whatsoever.

With a laser focus on the mobile-only user you’re instantly going to win the hearts, minds and wallets of the next generation of business owners. Not only that, but your design and development costs will be a fraction of those faced by companies trying to build and maintain their services across all devices.

Moving faster and regularly updating your mobile app will give provide you with search prominence, but don’t forget ad-spend either. If you’ve ever tried to duke it out with one of the major players for search engine dominance you’ll know exactly how painful that can be. However, look at their spend on mobile, in apps stores etc, and you’ll see a much more competitive landscape. Not only that, but in app stores reviews are king, and you’ll likely be blowing the competition out of the water there too.

Consumer software and services are already deeply focused on the mobile experience. If I take a quick look at my phone it’s obvious that the social media, journalism, banking, fitness, and entertainment apps are undeniably better than their desktop equivalents. Sure, there’s a lot we can learn from these apps from a UI and UX perspective, but they are tools of convenience for modernised economies, and most are so well established that it’s hardly worth trying to compete.

Which is exactly why I’m calling out mobile-only SaaS as the next gold rush. You can win on user experience, on development costs, on features/functionality, on marketing, and there's the evergreen appeal of never needing to have 90% of the market - there can be big fish and small fish making good money. Oh yeah, and unlike consumers who are nervous about spending their money, the B2B market expects, and respects, you charging a fee - especially when you can clearly demonstrate improvements to their bottom line!

When you take into account the pre-existing and generous opportunities presented to us by the SaaS market, and imagine taking a run at a market with billions of people and almost nobody in your way it’s pretty damn exciting.