Renier Lemmens - The future of Mobile Apps

A talk I attended at the Future of Web Apps conference 2010

The third talk at FOWA Dublin 2010 was by Renier Lemmens, the GM of PayPal Europe.

You may think it odd that a PayPal head would be invited to talk at a developer conference (Apart from the fact they were the main sponsor of the event) but early on in the talk Renier proved his tech-chops by listed some past things he had done (he has a background in computing) and even made light of the fact that he was no longer creating cool things on the web. (Paypal, on the other hand, have created some really cool new things which I will be talking about in a later post).

The mobile space isn’t somewhere I have played in really but we all know it has huge potential, Renier emphasised this by through out some mind blowing figures and projections (which unfortunately I didn’t take down with any context… If I can get my hands on the presentation I will update this).

One point he made which I don’t think can be stressed enough is that the online and offline world is blurring into one, very few people are ever truly offline and it is because of this that developers and creatives need to take advantage of the mobile revolution and that there would be some serious downsides to ignoring it.

One stat I did note down was that a figure of $400 Billion has been thrown up as a projected worth of mobile commerce, although nobody really knows what its full potential could be.  This figure leads on to what I believe has to be the main point of Renier’s talk (or at least the main thing I took from it), which is make it as simple as possible for that $400 Billion to come your way, remove any barriers between the user and them parting with their money on your mobile site.

You can achieve this by keeping one eye on the mobile world as you create your ecommerce processes and design your interfaces. One example given was iPhone apps which make you fill in all this information before saying you need to be at a computer to create your account.

Overall I thought this talk was interesting but I already had an idea that the mobile market was huge and that there are different things to consider when designing say shopping carts on mobile devices than you would on the web.

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