At a recent conference I had the pleasure of witnessing a few startup demos. Genuinely interested, I did what any FOMO-suffering technophile attendee would do, I pulled out my phone to visit the URL on the screen. These are all brand new businesses, but the majority of the websites I visited either had no mobile experience or a rather poor implementation.

This is just my personal experience, but I doubt it’s unique. I also realize that marketing websites are usually second fiddle to building out a product and “shipping it” is paramount, but this is your first impression. It’s important you nail it. Don’t let my first key takeaway be: “I can’t really use this.”

Why Responsive Web Design, why not just a “mobile web site“? Sure, I’m not your boss and you can make a mobile site, but consider the following—your new website1, identity, or product should be able to meet me where I am. Conferences are a beautiful microcosm of the internet: hundreds of users simultaneously connected on a hundred different devices from a single room. In my mind, RWD is the only way you’d affordably be able to cater to a such a large swath of random devices on your demo day.

I could be an investor, a tech hire, or more importantly a potential paying customer. You are a new business and you need to be prepared for the myriad of use cases in the mobile era.

  1. Yes, even your brand’s SXSW party needs a mobile strategy.