re: Mobile Is Not A Sideshow
Yes, mobile is important, but when even a high traffic web site like YouTube 'only' has 25% of web traffic from mobile then sidelining the remaining 75% is just really bad advice. The incredible problem with mobile is that mobile is very fractured and support for mobile web does not follow a common standard and therefore implementation and UX are vastly different on each mobile platform. Add to that the fact that despite dual and quad core processors mobile devices are still weaklings when it comes to local processing in the browser. And with no common runtime on mobile the only choice is to make native apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7/8 while ignoring the rest of mobile platforms that are still around, but too small to matter. The article mentions independent restaurants. The restaurant business is one of the toughest businesses around with incredibly high failure rates. Any restaurant owner will rather pay the immediate bills than spend thousands on hiring a company to write custom apps - as opposed to a plain simple web site that mildly skilled computer users can click together over a weekend, which, by the way, will also work to some degree on mobile devices. Maybe using restaurants as example was a poor journalistic choice.
Additionally, mobile is expensive. Data plans are typically metered and / or cost a lot per month. If anything, the prices will go up and the data amount allowed will go down. Banking entirely on mobile just to get priced out of the market through the greed of service providers isn't a wise business decision.
Further, the mobile industry moves at incredible pace. There is a new generation of hardware about every eight months and content needs to be fresh and make use of hardware capabilities in order to get any attention. Most businesses that do not have IT as a core competency (such as restaurants) would have to buy external services on a continuous basis to stay relevant with the content provided. It is just ignorant to expect that to happen.
Lastly, it is also very dependent on the target audience. For example, I don't care if a business has a mobile optimized service offering. I have no smartphone and will likely never buy one. I have several desktops and laptops so that if I need info or content I can get it. I don't spend hours commuting in subways or trains and also do not have the need to be available 24x7. I also do not twitter or constantly expose my personal life on Facebook. While the hipster crowd waiting in line for days for the next smartphone is different, they are not the only ones out there.
If the mobile industry wants to court to everyone then make mobile drastically cheaper to obtain, operate, and create content for. As far as content goes, we need one runtime that works natively on all devices and delivers the same UX, ideally it delivers the same UX on desktop systems and integrates seamlessly. And of course, such a runtime needs to be actively supported and not jeopardized by service providers and vendors. Until this is in place, mobile will remain popular, but still have all the disadvantages of a niche product.