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Blog | Lemon Studios - Part 2

5 things we really DON’T miss about our old non-coworking offices

Posted September 10th, 2010 by matt

SmallCubeI have recently noticed that I devote a considerable amount of blog inches to the notion of community and how important it is to Lemon Studios and the wider coworking landscape. Subsequently, I thought this post might be a good opportunity to reflect the thoughts of the Lemon community and others in our network in order to highlight how coworking spaces differ to more traditional offices – and to try to discover those frustrating, niggling and downright irritating aspects of office life those in coworking spaces are glad to have left behind.

1. Physical restrictions
For our followers who replied on Twitter and those we spoke to directly, there are many physically restrictive aspects of working in old office spaces which were the subject of some disdain. These ranged from building design to dress codes, but the most significant seemed to have an impact beyond individual frustrations toward the creative and productive wellbeing of the entire team. The abundance of walls and partitioned cocoon-like box rooms were not remembered favourably, and even less so now that the world-without-walls (open-plan offices, flexible working hours, increased connectivity) seems so natural.

2. Bureaucracy
Following nicely from the physical restrictions detailed in point 1, bureaucracy is in one sense an obligatory aspect of our office-working past that we are all quick to leave behind when we move into co-working. Initially, I was somewhat taken aback by the suggestion – perhaps because I had underestimated just how universal problem admin and routine was for pre-coworking folks. That said, many co-working spaces (as suggested by @STLCoworking in the US) now pride themselves on their lack of ‘red tape’ and the abolishment of ‘ill-fitted superiors.’

3. Not going outside
Not all the aspects put forward to us related to traditional spaces of the lifeless office-block variety. As those of us who have ever worked fulltime from home are aware, walking up the stairs, down the hall, or even just a few feet to your workspace may well be the height of convenience at 8:55am, but it can make for quite a lonely and hermit-like experience. @milestinsley is one person that appreciates the morale-boosting goodness that a brisk commute to the office can bring in the morning – even if it just ensures another day hasn’t slipped by without seeing natural light.

4. Lack of space
Similarly, others who were already freelance or embarking on an entrepreneurial venture were also quick to highlight the lack of possibility for expansion in their home offices and small rental spaces. Another Twitter-user, @indejames, identifies the freedom of a large office which comes when moving into a coworking space. This gives individuals the opportunity to establish themselves at a location with piece of mind that their team can grow naturally as and when it needs to, without having to move premises.

5. Absence of entrepreneurial spirit
Although many of the responses related to aspects that may be visually noticeable during even a short visit to a coworking space after working in a more traditional office, some were keen to note more hidden differences which might only emerge after a number of months. One individual we spoke to directly cited a distinct lack of entrepreneurial spirit in the office he used to work in, where employees were keen to keep their heads down and stick to the rigid order of the company. Of course, this differs significantly to the energy and enthusiasm he has found after moving into a coworking space. And he didn’t miss that lack of entrepreneurial spirit one bit.

Comments welcome. What do you really NOT miss about your old non-coworking office?

Introducing the latest addition to the Lemon community: Kukunu

Posted August 26th, 2010 by matt

kukunuWe are always pleased to welcome a new addition to the community here at Lemon Studios, and if a new expansion ties in with the launch of a new product or site the arrival is even more exciting.  So, let us welcome Kukunu, a fresh and clever new start-up.  And let’s take a look at what they are doing.

In a nutshell, Kukunu is a holiday-planning assistant online.  By integrating social media technology with information on more than 300,000 hotel and activity options worldwide, as well as functional mapping, calendar and other planning tools – all your destination plans, trip ideas, costs, important times and notes etc are in the same place, and accessible from anywhere.

Inspired by their mutual love for travel and the web, Gerald Goldstein and Itamar Lesuisse became tired of seeing their loved ones planning holidays and vacations on napkins, scraps of paper and in other unsuitable places which became lost and unusable over time.  So by transferring their skills from working in the field of financial websites and e-commerce respectively, they envisioned a way for a potentially frustrating and complex task to be moved online in an effort to make the entire process that little bit easier.

Becoming a ‘Kukunaut’ is simple.  After a free signup process you are able to start sharing holiday ideas and exploring recommendations from trusted sources such as tripadvisor.co.uk, even before you start looking at your calendar, maps and making use of the service’s Faceboook and Twitter integration.  Yet, perhaps the most intriguing development (and something that we really like to see at Lemon Studios) is the sense of community the site promotes.

After just a month since Kukunu launched, they have seen over 4000 users join, and a hardcore group have already returned to plan their next vacation.  The site is testament to the importance of integrating a community spirit, social media, business expertise and easy functional tools, seamlessly to make a really usable site – and we look forward to seeing the venture grow.

For more information on Kukunu watch the video and follow them on Twitter.

Future Working: Five ingredients that go into a perfect co-working space?

Posted August 23rd, 2010 by matt

Coffe houseAfter spending the last couple of months researching co-working offices and similar spaces in both the US and Germany, I soon began to notice a number similarities between the examples.  With this in mind, and what we know of co-working here in the UK, I decided to try to boil down the five most important aspects or “ingredients” that go into a great co-working space today.

1. The right variety of spaces:

The most successful co-working offices tend to offer a range of different types of space within one building.

-        Office space where individuals and teams can plug in and get down to work is, of course, a must.  Open plan areas are a popular way to make use of large spaces and to accommodate fast-growing teams, as well as making it easy for those working to talk to each other.  Many co-working spaces I’ve looked at also offer smaller office areas to give individuals a greater degree of solitude and a quieter environment.

-        Homely Space is also a popular feature of the co-working offices I have looked at.  Comfy seating and a more relaxed atmosphere offer something of an escape from the screen for tenants, as well as being a place where colleagues can meet for a less formal chat.

-        Social/Coffee House Space have become integrated into many co-working spaces I have seen, and have seemingly evolved from the reputation such spaces have had for kick starting ideas.  These areas give tenants the means to relax, refuel and discuss issues – perhaps over a coffee or beer.

2. Payment simplicity:

Over the last couple of months we have seen a variety of ways co-working spaces charge for their facilities, but payment simplicity is a key feature across all of them.  Where spaces offer traditional rental contracts all Wi-Fi and bill costs are usually included to ensure there are no hidden extras for tenants, while contract lengths are typically negotiable and can be as short as a month in length.  Other spaces opt for club-like membership fees, while many we have seen in Germany offer ticket schemes where tenants can buy daily, weekly and monthly tickets as and when they need to.

3. Information and Connectivity:

It goes without saying that Wi-Fi should be high speed and available in all areas of today’s co-working spaces, and as is mentioned above, costs should be included in any advertised rental rates.  Additionally, directories and books are also a popular feature with some spaces offering internal library services to tenants.

4. Accessibility:

Location is important, and many of the co-working spaces we have seen do well to bear in mind the need of tenants to be close to public transport and other amenities.  However, while it is important to put the needs of tenants first – many co-working spaces ensure that non-tenants are welcome and even schedule weekly tours and meet-ups for the wider community to come and have a look around.

5. Community:

Following accessibility, ‘community’ is likely the most important feature of modern co-working spaces and offices – but is not necessarily something which can appear straight away.  A community spirit needs to be nurtured by planning social evenings, get-togethers and seminars, so tenants can meet and get to know one another.  Promoting client diversity and cross-pollination of services is actively endorsed by the most successful spaces, and utilizing social media and blogging goes even further to promote the community side online.

Adapting to become a ‘Freelancer of Tomorrow’

Posted August 18th, 2010 by matt


Whilst writing recently about the evolution of coworking spaces in the US and Germany I have been thinking more about how those using them are having to evolve too.  Indeed, most coworking spaces are available for professionals other than freelancers, but I think it’s fair to say that many who choose to work independently are finding such offices increasingly useful.  So how are freelancers themselves adapting to a post-digital coworking age?  And what modern skills are likely to be important to the freelancer of tomorrow?

The changing meaning of ‘freelance’

Even before the arrival of the internet, ideas of what a freelancer is and does have come a long way since its (likely) original meaning as a reference to a “free-lance”, i.e. a mercenary whose lance is not sworn to any lord’s services.  Independent professionals such as journalists and photographers typified the sort of individual seeking out subjects and creating ‘works’ before finding a publisher interested in purchasing the rights to the content produced.

Of course, the internet has since caused something of an explosion of opportunity, not only by making communications (and transferring content) easier between freelancers and companies eager to outsource, but also because of the development of online and digital industries, and the respective growth in jobs which can be done remotely.  The result?  Today it seems you’re as likely to meet a freelance social media marketer or online graphic designer as you are to find someone working in a more traditional context such as photography or journalism.

The multichannel freelancer

While the different types of freelance jobs available have likely grown over the past few years, the economic climate (particularly in the UK) and the high output of graduates has been seen to make many job opportunities more competitive than they were been before.  Subsequently, and particularly where digital work is concerned, many freelancers are working to broaden their skills base and naturally finding themselves having to work across channels – whether its combining blogging with social media or practicing videography as well as photography.

The need for companies to think in multichannel terms is something that is being endorsed by many forward-thinking marketing minds (Econsultancy’s JUMP event is a good example), but I would say that this will be increasingly important for tomorrow’s freelancer too.  For example, copywriters who are confident with adapting their writing for offline clients, such as press releases, to be suitable for online distribution or blog posts seem likely to succeed in tomorrow’s multichannel workplace.

Adapting to tomorrow’s workplace

And so what of ‘tomorrow’s workplace’ for freelancers?  After all, we know that coworking spaces are quite different to a traditional offices, so if their popularity continues to grow as it has done in the UK, US and Germany, an increasing number of freelancers may well need to adapt to working in this kind of environment.

Simon Mackie, in his article 7 Tips for Making the Most of Your Coworking Space over at WebWorkerDaily, goes into some detail on this idea.  An initial take-away from this for tomorrow’s freelancer is to start understanding and working with ‘the cloud’ (assuming it is still a new concept to some).  Big names, from Google and Microsoft to BT, are all offering cloud storage services making things easier for accessing (and collaborating on) work whether at your coworking space, at home or on location – and without having to worry about carrying storage with you.

Another necessary adaptation for tomorrow’s freelancer may stem from the aim of coworking spaces, such as our own Lemon Studios, to foster collaboration between people.  Those who may be used to working from home will likely need to be prepared to work in a place where they may well be approached for their own insights, and will likely find themselves urged to socialise and seek assistance from others they don’t initially know so well.  Of course, we would say this adaption to a new environment will be a huge benefit to freelancers.  After all, working in a multichannel world will no doubt see an increase in the need for individuals to learn new skills, media, technology and methods of communication, and we believe that those around you are the best people to help.

So, tomorrow’s freelancer will differ from those of the past…

Referring again to the etymology of the term, freelancers of the past may not have been sworn to any lord’s services, whereas the freelancer of tomorrow will likely not be sworn to any one discipline.  They will more likely be hybrid workers and more confident with working across a range of channels.  It is this preparation to adapt and learn new skills from those around them every day which will likely define their success – but while the challenges may be frequent and more unexpected, the benefits are sure to be even greater.

Great Minds 2: A look at co-working spaces in Germany

Posted July 28th, 2010 by matt

Last month we wrote a post about a number of forward-thinking companies and co-working spaces in the US.  Following a conversation I had with some of the folks at Seedcamp (a fantastic programme founded to help the European entrepreneurial community) I learnt that there are a great number of people with pioneering approaches to co-working in Europe too.  This month I decided to focus on Germany and a selection of companies, collectives and websites which should be of interest.

Starting in Berlin, but now with plans for spaces established in Zurich and Lisbon, Betahaus offer an alternative to so-called ‘classic offices’.  Instead, they understand the added value for professionals who work at different times, in a variety of locations, in fast-evolving teams and under temporary contracts.  A Betahaus space intends to be a coffee house, library, home office and campus all at once where entrepreneurs, start-ups and freelancers are propelled to communicate, innovate and produce great work.  They also offer weekly tours of the offices on Tuesdays and Thursdays to introduce prospective co-workers to the facilities.

coworking cologne
Coworking Cologne

Coworking Cologne is a club which is working to establish a network of collaborative work spaces across the city and beyond.  Their first co-working space is located within a converted gas engine factory in the Mülheim district of the city and operates via a unique system which sees clients purchase either daily, weekly or monthly tickets to allow them use of the facilities.  As well as facilities such as refreshments and wireless broadband, the building also houses a number of meeting rooms open to a changing schedule of meet-ups, presentations and seminars geared towards inspiration and learning

Hallenprojekt (which translates as The Hall Project) is a site, network and directory which has been established with the aim to connect co-working spaces and prospective co-workers across Germany.  Users who log on to the Hallenprojekt website can not only keep up with new and changing co-working spaces and offices available, but can also sign into a virtual part of the site community (much like a miniature Twitter stream) where they can chat, ask questions and network.

The Werkheim project prides itself on being the first co-working workspace in Hamburg and has been open for just a few months.  Despite its relative newness, the office boasts a comprehensive and ever-growing list of facilities and equipment including small and large projection rooms, lounge areas and printing equipment – as well as a lounge and cafe.  The space also operates on a ticketing basis, and welcomes input and ideas direct and via its integral social media presence to ensure the office is as comfortable and useful as it can be for future users.

Great Minds: A look at some interesting approaches to co-working in the US

Posted June 14th, 2010 by matt

Inspired by a thread over at readwriteweb.com and our recently announced partnership with Match Office, I decided to devote this post to exploring a range of companies in the US who are doing similar things to us.  After a post titled Co-working Spaces: Building a Startup Community appeared at readwriteweb.com, a number of comments were posted by individuals (us included) eager to share their experiences with specialized and community-based office spaces – and how they had come to establish their own.

I am sure there are many to be found elsewhere, but here are a few that have caught our eye stateside:


The timeless words of American anthropologist Margaret Mead are quoted on theNedSpace homepage: ‘Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’ – and this idea is at the heart of the company.  Based out of Oregon, they have two spaces in Downtown and Old Town Portland respectively and currently boast clients such as web consultancy firm Level Online Strategy.  As well as holding their own weekly NedSpace roundtables, the Old Town office has also become the meeting base for Portland’s collaborative casual working event: Jelly.



On a slightly smaller scale, this software company based out of West Hollywood have foreseen the obvious benefits of collaborative spaces and decided to advertise some deskspace to people who ‘might complement our work style and creative vibe’.  Unlike the almost ‘accessible to all’ approach of NedSpace, Boxador (who have just a few desks available to rent) are being a little more selective with who becomes part of the community by way of asking for submission of work samples from prospective clients.


Shared office space people, WorkBar, are targeting ‘the needs of today’s “work from home” professionals or those finding themselves searching for workspace in coffee shops.’  The Boston company pride themselves on offering professional workspace and conference/meeting rooms to make it as easy as possible for individuals, freelancers and small start-up teams to meet with their clients.  In addition, WorkBar host both casual and more formal networking events in their space, and instead of upholding the more traditional landlord/tenant relationship, they offer numerous levels of ‘membership’ for prospective clients – which fit a wide range of budgets.


The coIN Loft

The notion of ‘membership’ is utilized by The coIN Loft too, though the community aspect of their Delaware co-working space is explicitly connected not only to the strength of those who use it, but also towards the city as a whole.  Co-founded by two branding/development guys and one magazine entrepreneur respectively, The coIN Loft puts social interactions, community building and cross-pollination of services at its forefront.  They are also very active on their blog at: http://thecoinloft.tumblr.com/

It’s good to see such varied and new approaches to the work environment specifically tailored for fledgling companies and start-ups.  And whether to benefit just those who share the space or the wider community as well, inter-company collaboration in the above workspaces certainly seems to be a positive move for those using them.

World Cup 2010: What will the social media age bring to the World Cup experience?

Posted June 8th, 2010 by matt

world cupWith kick-off for the Group A match between South Africa and Mexico just hours away, I couldn’t help but cast my mind back to four years ago and ask myself how different the World Cup experience will be since the social media explosion of Facebook and Twitter et al.  So how will we engage with the World Cup experience in the online context?

The ‘Watching’ Experience

Although we’ve had live online streaming and a degree of interactivity via digital television for a while now, ITV and the BBC (who are both sharing broadcast of World Cup games) have each promised an online viewing experience set to break new ground.

ITV are launching ITV Live, a new service intended to go beyond just live streaming and video highlights of games.  The service is being billed as an online companion to the finals, with dual screen real time stats and chat, as well as in-game voting.  The website will also be home to blogs from the pundits as well as an ongoing updates from a number of fans soaking up the action direct from South Africa.

In addition to the Radio and TV offerings from the BBC, viewers will be able to stream BBC matches live on the website and will be able to catch up on anything they’ve missed on the iPlayer.  Again, the BBC has a number of bloggers eager to discuss daily issues, including John Motson who will be filing reports to the site every day in his own inimitable style.  Motty can also be followed on Twitter here.

The ‘Sharing’ Experience

Alongside Motty, Twitter is set to be a place for fans and viewers to share their opinions on every on-the-pitch and off-the-pitch aspect of the event (dominant hashtags include: #wc2010, #mundial and #sudafrica2010).  Fifa, themselves are doing well to see the benefit of getting involved with their own twitter stream, while a number of newspapers have launched their own World Cup 2010 streams to make sure we all keep updated (see below).

Curiously, a link to the official Twitter stream is surprisingly difficult to find at FIFA.com – and the same can be said for the official Fifa World Cup Sudafrica 2010 Facebook group.  However, once you do find it, it’s good to see that Fifa are making the most of this channel too, earning themselves more than 60,000 fans who are getting involved with the content even before the event has begun.

YouTube is likely to be a place where fans will post up videos of goals and other moments during the course of World Cup 2010, and you’d expect Fifa to be well ahead of the game by directing viewers to their own official channel.  The closest you get, however, is the Coca Cola channel which features no football content aside from a promo for their latest competition.  On the positive side, the competition does invite fans to submit their own content in order for the chance to win game tickets.

However, in the build-up to the finals, YouTube is arguably best being utilized by a large number of musicians eager to make it big with their World Cup songs this year.  Be sure to check out videos from Harpers Heroes, iKid and Shuttleworth to get into the spirit of things(!)

The ‘Extra Stats’ Experience

Stat-finding during World Cup 2010 is sure to be an even more pleasurable and online-centric experience than it has been in the past.  Infographics such as the Match Planner at Marca.com and the RIA Novosti Jabulani diagram are just the tip of the iceberg.  The former is a calendar and match-planner which makes me wonder how we ever survived with the humble wall-chart of yesteryear, while the latter is a fantastic exploded diagram of the official world cup football – the Jabulani.

Expectedly, newspapers with their fingers on the online pulse such as The Guardian and The Telegraph will be making the most of their content when it comes to online, each with their own dedicated World Cup 2010 sub-areas.  Social media will be a major player for both of the above, but The Guardian’s own unique Fans’ Network and The Telegraph’s special World Cup iPhone app are just some examples of how the two are going even farther to keep the stat-hounds happy.

The ‘Business’ Experience

Businesses are getting in on the online action too.  Aside from Coca Cola’s YouTube orientated competition, their Trophy Tour page shows the amazing journey the trophy has made across South Africa and the World.  The Cup’s other major sponsor, McDonalds, has decided to launch its own online Fantasy Football game, whilst a number of awesome virals have hit the web from other companies such as Nokia (check out their awesome Table Football ad) and Nike.

Let us know of any more awesome World Cup 2010 social media stuff in the comments below!

UKTI and Danish serviced-office leaders Match Office choose Lemon Studios

Posted June 4th, 2010 by matt

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and Match Office have become the latest high-profile names to become partners with Lemon Studios.

ukti logoUKT&I is the government organisation which helps British companies operate on an international level and works to attract foreign investment to the UK. Their choice to work with the Lemon Studios community is a logical and exciting one. And our new partnership will no doubt be set to benefit the forward-thinking and fast growing companies on our list of clients currently based in Clerkenwell, London – including Clickback, Taptu and Style Foundry.

matchoffice logoAdditionally, Match Office is a Danish firm who also specialize in serviced office spaces across Europe. The company is supported by the Danish Embassy, and in keeping with a growing trend which sees London as a viable city for investment from foreign companies, they are adding Lemon Studios as a key recommendation to both start-up and more developed businesses who are eager to expand to the UK capital.

These new partners come at a time when we are seeing continuing high demand for our unique and specialized workspaces. Enquiries have increased by 50% on last year and there is now a two-month waiting list for deskspace. Subsequently, Lemon Studios has doubled capacity with a long-term view to open further offices in Shoreditch, Old Street, Soho and Southbank – offering a total of 1,000 workstations across London.

In short, despite all of the digital marketing and communications channels now available to entrepreneurs, we’ve witnessed a real return to old fashioned networking. We organise regular networking sessions for our tenants but there is also plenty of ad-hoc collaboration in the office, including a tenants’ intranet, and socialising after work over a pint.

Since the establishment of the company in 2005, the need for expansion which has truly come to a head in 2010 has also been partly attributed to our flexibility and transparency – while in the past other such companies have been more keen to lock fledgling clients into long contracts with additional fees. Within our offices we have noticed a real openness and willingness to share ideas and know-how, and half of all tenants are currently undertaking business together.

Being chosen to partner up with UKTI and Match Office is testament to the fact that we are thinking differently about how 21st Century workspaces should be run.

Generation Z and beyond: Who will staff the post-digital workplace?

Posted May 24th, 2010 by matt

Generation ZIt seems like only yesterday when discussions of tomorrow’s workplace would focus on the fast-learning Y Generation in an age of remote working and a strange world that is always connected.  Yet, over the next few years a new crop of graduates will be becoming our colleagues, and will have a different view of the digital age and the workplace that is set to come afterwards.

These individuals, ideally called Generation Z (in keeping with studies as far back as the 50s and 60s which established post-war youngsters as Generation X), are individuals who have never really known the world without the internet.  According to Australian social researcher Mark McCrindle this means they view the web not as a productivity solution or tool, as the majority of those born before do, but instead as a strata of everyday life and thus: ‘how they express themselves and…how they define themselves.’

This observation is all the more intriguing when noting that the oldest of Generation Z were aged 15 when YouTube was launched and when Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace.  They were barely into double figures when Google really took off.  However, these youngsters – some of which are already two years into their university degrees – may not be as keen to enter the digital/social workplace as we might expect.

This is the opinion of journalism lecturer and blogger Roy Greenslade.  He identifies that while today’s students may be “digital natives” (or “naturals” as McCrindle would describe them), it is tangible and traditional (and secure?) “old media” that they really want to get involved in after university – because, amongst other reasons, this is the path taken by those who have made it before them.

The interest of Generation Z in ‘old media’ highlights some further questions of tomorrow’s workplace and those who will work in what some are calling The “Post-Digital” Age.  At the very least, we are perhaps anticipating more of a marriage between traditional and 21st Century tools and practices, such as the need for face to face collaboration and a physical community to ensure a productive team, no matter how digital or electronic the final outcome is.  Of course this is something that we at Lemon Studios are very interested in; it’s our reason for being.

Yet, as for those who will staff tomorrow’s workplace, Greenslade’s observation highlights a great degree of foresight on the part of today’s youngsters.  After all, as opposed to simply knowing the next big digital thing, it will no doubt be the skill of adaptability between old and new media, and having a clear knowledge of both which will really benefit those set to make it in the “Post-Digital” workplace.

Latest research shows commerce driving the growth of the mobile touch web

Posted May 24th, 2010 by matt

As major retailers launch their own mobile friendly websites, and with mobile commerce tipped to be more significant than mobile advertising as a market driving force, shopping through our phones was always set to be a major trend.  But just how important is mobile commerce in terms of shaping the mobile touch web?

Recent research from our friends at Taptu who have a base here in Lemon Studios,  goes into great detail into how the mobile touch web is changing.  As of the end of April 2010 the number of mobile touch web sites hit 440,100, up 35 percent from 326,600 at the end of December.  This figure even astounded Taptu themselves, as the annual growth rate of 232 percent signals a total of around 1.1 million mobile touch web sites by the end of 2010 – a far bigger prediction than that of 500,000 made earlier in the year.

As for the number of touch-friendly sites recorded by the end of April, a 22.1 percent majority are commerce sites (categorized as ‘Shopping & Services’ by Taptu), with the second biggest piece of the mobile touch web pie being taken by sites of a Government & Non-Profit nature with seven percent of the share.  Within the Shopping & Services category, Businesses & Brands such as Siemens, Yellow Pages and Ikea dominate with 9.5 percent, while Auto and Web Design are close behind with 6.8 and 6.7 percent share respectively.

The report highlights that whilst commerce sites are driving the growth of the mobile touch web sector, this trend is not entirely surprising.  After all, many businesses and brands are seemingly savvy enough to know that if they spend the same amount of time and money on apps for either iPhone or Android then they are potentially neglecting a significant portion of consumers – and a good number of prospective customers.

Despite this, the number of iPhone and Android apps are continuing to grow too, though at varying rates.  By April 2010 there were 185,000 apps available in the Apple App Store, signalling an annual growth rate of 144 percent.  Yet, the Android Store is seeing a faster growth than both Apple and the mobile touch web with a recorded annual rate of 403 percent – with 35,947 apps available at the end of April.

The Taptu research comes at a time when a number of high profile companies are launching mobile touch web sites as opposed to branded shopping apps.  Marks & Spencer are the latest to make this move, with their new mobile-friendly site boasting a simple quick-loading home page, easy-navigation to categories and a practical store finder.  Subsequently, in terms of UK retailers, Marks & Spencer are something of pioneer in terms of embracing the mobile touch web.  Though, with their high profile move to do so, and the latest research showing just how important commerce sites are to this fast-growing sector, it will certainly be interesting to see who will follow in their footsteps and how the sector will look at the end of the year.