Thursday, February 08, 2007

Imitation: the sincerest form of flattery

In an industry dominated by giant corporations, driving the prices of ever more encompassing software to rock bottom the little guy has found it hard to compete... show me more than 2 or 3 popular office suites?

Even the awesome powers of Open Source, IBM and Sun combined don't seem to be a match for the might of Microsofts dominance of the Office sector.

So the thing about Web 2.0 that excites me is the ability for small software companies to produce products that are truly useful... the model of an all encompassing suite of apps seems to be diminishing in front of our eyes. The web and online applications can be combined in all sorts of interesting ways with consumers able to pick the functionality they actually need!

Not only do the consumers get what they want, but a monopolized market where small vendors have been forced out many years ago get's revitalised. It's now viable for a small startup to come up with a good idea and maybe make some money. In the past you couldn't have got anyone interested in the business case for a new Word Processor.

With google looming on the horizon it's my hope that developers will start to use this time to innovate in application design; rather than just "ajax-ising" existing concepts.

The first step was imitating ease-of-use from desktop apps giving quick, hassle free access, anywhere.

We've done that.

Surely the next step is to try and evolve the whole user experience, free from the shackles of traditional corporate desktop thinking. Let's take some inspiration from the great past innovations at Xerox Park, Apple and Next and create some truly exciting stuff... What is the web if not the greatest melting pot of ideas?

1 comment:

Glenn said...

Too right! Having an always accessible version of Photoshop available via your browser is one thing, but what more could Web 2.0 offer? Better collaboration, Photoshop Actions + Flickr, etc. etc. I don't know what...

But you're right - Ajaxified word processing, image editing, blogging, blah blah has all been done. What's next?