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Traditional mobile apps were not meant for local businesses

The conventional wisdom for a "mobile first" strategy was for your local brand to build a website and/or a mobile app. In both instances, you were likely (or even encouraged) to hire a developer to build a custom mobile presence for you that has all the things that makes your brand unique. After your developer built your beautiful website and/or mobile app, you were excited to launch it to your customers so that they could connect and interact with you on your new mobile presence.

Most people believe a local brand will acquire more customers with a custom designed and developed mobile app, but the truth is the opposite.

The type of customization a local brand might get for their website or mobile app actually works against their interest of getting noticed locally and growing their sales.

While customization makes you feel happier about the website or mobile app that's been developed, the customization prevents your mobile presence from being "compatible" with other similar website or mobile apps that also customized their mobile presence. It's the very reason why none of the world's most downloaded mobile apps (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snap) allows a lot of customization. You can upload your logo, photos, videos and text, but, otherwise, everyone essentially uses the same template.

The customization your local brand is accustomed to prevents standardizations and without standardization there can be no network effects.

A smart app is not like a traditional, downloadable mobile app – it's not something you build.

A smart app is already built – it's something you get. You simply "plug in" information about your local business (e.g., text, photos, videos, pricing) and use it.

As a local business, you need outcomes, not ownership. At the heart of the idea behind a smart app is the notion that local businesses will be happier subscribing to the outcomes they want (e.g., getting noticed locally), when they want them, rather than purchasing a product (e.g., a website, a mobile app) that comes with the burden of ownership.

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