Shifting Focus: Pivot or Perish with Videos & Mobile

Old cell phone

In 1982, William Grant “Bill” Moggridge, a British designer, created the clamshell format. This design paved the way for portable devices such as laptops and eventually flip phones.

Soon, the power of mobile devices transformed into a conduit of social connectivity.

Essentially, a simple design help to reengineer big, complicated computers into small hand-held devices.  

This was total disruption!

Markets were born while others shifted. Long-heralded giants fell as time progressed on. Household names, such as Kodak and Blockbuster, morphed into business school case studies of businesses failing to move with the market.

Betting on Video

Just think about it; there was once a time where business minds had little idea how to monetize social media. This wasn’t too long ago.

Many did not dispute its digital currency, but critics wondered how social engagement would yield results for investors.  Thus, the recent growth of Facebook (and its social media empire) is newsworthy to note. 

As business folk debated, Facebook was placing a high stakes, poker-like wager on the importance of video as a social context tool.

This gamble paid off!

Mark Zuckerberg recently announced Facebook’s colossal financial growth. Last quarter alone, advertisers spent over $7 billion dollars (16% revenue increase year-over-year) to reach users on Facebook. Furthermore, the average revenue per user increased by 9% from last quarter.

Below, take a look at Facebook’s user growth across its social media platforms:

A Mobile-First Outlook

In other recent news, Google has begun tinkering with a new way to give search results.

"Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results," writes Google product manager Doantam Phan. 

Similar to Facebook’s gamble on video, Google’s wager will impact consumers and businesses alike. Google’s new perspective stems from data that revealed more search queries happen on mobile devices than desktop PCs. 

The growth of big data continues to pose questions to business leaders - and the choice to pivot or perish.

Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Report notes that smartphone acquisition continues to increase while penetrating the world’s most remote locations. Google’s transition could be the ultimate marker for businesses to shift focus from a Web 2.0 mindset to a Web 3.0 perspective.

Runway to Success

Often within the startup community, entrepreneurs talk about the runway a startup has to lift or eventually fail. For new and established businesses, the same ramp up to pivot or perish remains evident. Shift now or watch a business become obsolete overnight.

In 1982, Moggridge solved a problem. His design later became a disruptive force in computer manufacturing and help to spawn new technology.

Considering Facebook and Google’s bold changes, are there any behaviors that could be pivotal in your market(s)? Better yet, are legacy practices limiting or expanding your runway?

Rob Black, Jr. is a marketer with over 15 years experience within property management. He currently operates a creative blog site ( targeting millennials. Connect with him on LinkedIn here.


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