One of the most unanticipated developments surrounding mobile phones is the fact that people don’t really want to use them to talk to each other. They want to use them to send messages. This phenomenon was so counterintuitive that it has now disrupted the entire tech industry twice — first in 1994 and later in 2012. It was messaging that turned Nokia into king of the mobile phone market in 1990s and then WhatsApp into one of the most successful startups in the history as Facebook was forced to pay $19 billion for a tiny company that was just five years old.
The astonishing popularity of text-messaging on phones has now blindsided two generations of tech leaders. It goes to show how difficult reading consumer behavior can be for even the most accomplished companies. More →