Social Innovation Through Mobile


Shining a flashlight, using a tape measure and turning an air conditioner, these are among the constantly expanding list of things people are now doing with their mobile phones.

A recent conference — “How Mobile and Social Are Transforming Innovation Models: Flipping the Paradigm?” — hosted by Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the school’s San Francisco campus, underlined the importance of mobile and how it is disrupting our daily activities.

Some of the key ideas that emerged from the conference are:

  • Growing use of mobile phones is changing the competitive landscape for all companies, no matter what the industry
  • The extent of those changes is greater than most appreciate
  • New methods of designing products, revamped methods for selling them all these things suggest that mobile has made customers the boss
  • Companies have to make products that are so simple that anyone can use them

With concerns about privacy and masked identity gone (thanks to social networks like Facebook), exposed identity and constant sharing becoming the new normal, smartphones is all set to impact change customers’ behaviour. Because a smartphone always knows its holder’s location, it will surely provide “point of inspiration” messages to consumers that attempt to persuade them into a purchase at exactly the moment they’re able to make it.

In the social and mobile economy, companies need to learn new way of selling their products. OpEx is one such model. In the OpEx model, customers lease rather than buy products. The new model is completely different from CapEx model — in CapEx model companies assume that customers made purchases with a “capital expenditures” mentality.

Adapted From: The New Model for Innovation Is Social — and Mobile: But Are Companies Ready?

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