Rethinking The Seductiveness Of Mobile-First


Editor’s Note: Semil Shah works on product for Swell, is a TechCrunch columnist, and an investor. He blogs at Haywire, and you can follow him on Twitter at @semil.

For the past few months, my weekly column here has been focused on some aspect of “mobile.” There’s no denying the scope of the platform shift, user volume, and consumer attention. Yet, for startups, being “mobile-first” in today’s market is a dicey proposition given the harsh realities of distribution and the fact consumers are bombarded with too many indistinguishable choices. Taken together, it begs the question: “For new startups today, is mobile-first the right choice?”

In this post, I’ll share some conditions under which being mobile-first today either isn’t necessary or puts a new startup at a disadvantage. The idea here is to play the devil’s advocate for a day, to gently push back against the…

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