Media & Entertainment

Required Reading Regarding Mobile


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Editor’s Note: Semil Shah is a contributor to TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter at @semil.

It’s clichéd, overplayed, and the obvious new normal: Mobile is the big, fundamental force driving consumer tech. Yes, we all know that, but even taking a few steps back for a minute, we should stand in awe of just how much of a massive platform change this is.

“Tectonic” might be the right word. Readers of this site and column will already know this, but what I wanted to do this week is briefly highlight some of the best bloggers, operators, investors, and analysts writing about mobile today. As I’ve been focusing more of my work over the last year-and-a-half to cover the product side and investment side of mobile, I’ve been trying to learn by reading from experts below, specifically trying to focus on the problem of app discovery and testing various techniques in order to lock in distribution.

In the list below, you will recognize some of these names, but I wanted to put them all in one place, in alphabetical order by last name, for reference.

Steve Cheney. Steve is lucky because he gets to go first and has been a contributor to TechCrunch. When he’s not doing all that, he’s been at the helm of BD for GroupMe for a number of years, seen the acquisitions to Skype and then Microsoft, and blends an investment-banking sense of analysis with his knowledge as a mobile engineer. Steve recently wrote a terrific post looking at the future of iOS and Android, arguing that these operating systems were expanding from phones and tablets into other converged arenas, and listed a number of technical changes coming to iOS that will impact markets (such as payments, among others) for years to come. Read more here.

Chris Dixon. Yes, everyone reads Chris’ blog, but one of his recent posts on mobile made a number of interesting distinctions between platforms, devices (phone vs. tablet), and more. Read more here.

Horace Dediu (aka Asymco). Again, most everyone knows Asymco and its groups for cranking out some of the best global mobile analysis, so I’ll simply link to them here.

Benedict Evans. Everyone is beginning to read Evans, who has a well-designed blog rich with new spins on data. Fred Wilson began referencing him a lot in his posts, and Evans just churns out series after series of great insights and charts. Required reading, right here.

Bill Gurley. When Bill writes, everyone reads it. With a long background as a VC and a previous career as an equity researcher (which involved lots of writing), Gurley’s most recent take on how deep this transition to mobile is and its implications circulated widely and includes a rich comments section. More here.

Greg Kumparak. TechCrunch’s mobile editor (and engineer by trade), Greg has been tinkering on various mobile devices for years and recently hacked a TARDIS on Android that captured the attention of legions of Doctor Who fans worldwide. Here’s a link to Greg’s author page.

David Leib. As the CEO and co-founder of Bump, one of the early popular iPhone applications, David has seen the ups and downs of the app roller-coaster ecosystem. Recently, he wrote a great post about the cognitive load many apps ask users to shoulder and what the ramifications of this type of design can be.

Bubba Murarka. Bubba worked at Facebook on mobile, most recently on Home, which made him an Android expert. Now a VC at Draper Fisher Jurvetson on Sand Hill, Bubba has been blogging a lot about Android, and it’s great stuff. I’d assume there will be more coming. Bubba fills a key hole among the investor base at large when it comes to evaluating mobile investments:

Chetan Sharma. When I asked around about other must-read mobile analysts, many friends wrote back about Chetan. I hadn’t read his stuff before, but clearly I was missing out on his expertise.

Paul Stamitiou. Better known as “Stammy,” he’s been a repeat founder and currently on the Twitter design team. He just penned an epic post on why “Android Is Better,” which nearly everyone read (and which I disagreed with and which TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez responded to, as well).

Ben Thompson. He writes at Stratechery, out of Asia, blending a mix of Apple analysis with strategic outlooks on the other big tech players and the device ecosystem.

I’m sure there are many others that I haven’t been exposed to yet, so if you have a favorite writer or source on mobile, please comment below.

Photo Credit: Michael Mol / Creative Commons Flickr

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