Ezinma Okoli: Things I have learnt from looking at mobile-based biz models

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Having looked at hundreds of mobile-based business models for a recently completed dissertation I’ve learnt a few things which I am sharing here.


We treat our mobile phones like we do our personal space. Anyone who isn’t invited is an invader. Worse still, any invitee who abuses the privilege is a violator. A taxi booking service needing to know who I called and when is no different from a taxi operator on the phone asking personal questions – and will lose me as a customer.

Of Apps

Apps shouldn’t be the first line of action for every business. Needing a plumber is very different from needing to live with a plumber. A lot of mobile apps would be better placed as mobile websites to call on as the need arises. This is also cheaper.


SMS advertising is largely ineffective in many parts of the world – the most common urge unsolicited SMS messages evoke in humans is the urge to punch someone (not the urge to buy or call for price). QR codes were invented to address this issue. No one knows why QR codes never really took off and it is unlikely that they ever will.

That’s my 15,000 word dissertation in brief.

One comment

  1. I wish our Nigerian businesses will learn from your work & make amends especially when sending unsolicited SMSes to the public. It doesn’t have any good effect at all, rather, it gets one annoyed. I for one block all short code numbers from sending me messages & delete anyone that succeeds on coming through before even getting to read the content. If there is anything, I would rather discourage friends from patronizing your product for being so insensitive.

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