IOT is returning us to the web, away from the app store

If you haven’t, read Panic’s year end report. Go on, I’ll wait.

Done?

Good. Now, remember this quote:

It’s still an awful and nerve-wracking feeling to know that, at any minute, we could get thrown into a quagmire of e-mails, phone calls, code removal, and sadness, just by trying to ship something cool.

That’s the feeling of being beholden, 100%, to a random, larger than you entity. Thanks to the lack of net neutrality, some companies that use more bandwidth already pay taxes on their ability to provide services to people that pay a subscription fee. Next month, we’ll see if Comcast wins, or the internet wins. I’m rooting for the web, if not, it’ll be tragic for all of us.

I’ve thrown my hat into the ring, numerous times, on the side of open over closed. That’s why the software I’m building now is open source. Even if we fail, as long as we ship something cool, it won’t die. It won’t fade away.

Many, many times I’ve helped develop software. Nearly zero of those projects, from almost a dozen years of collaboration with my longest running business partner. Not a single line of usable, open source, awesome code. Anywhere.

We did amazing stuff. Ericson’s an extremely talented individual, when he puts his mind to the task at hand. So is Widhadh, Mike, Adam, Hans…I’ve been lucky to always work with fantastic business partners, everyone. However, we’ve all been greedy, until now.

2015-01-06-internet-of-thingsOpen source isn’t a trend, it’s not going away, and in fact, more & more of the web is dependent on open source. Cryptography, data security, privacy. The future depends on the populace knowing enough to validate that yes, we’re free. Otherwise, we’ve traded the Great Firewall of China with a Red, White & Blue Version.

Why would the Panic story help tell us why companies should avoid the app store?

Sure, you can leverage it, but, mobile isn’t a channel just like, “Flying people,” aren’t a channel. Yes, people are using wi-fi on planes, no, that doesn’t mean they are new people. Those mobile users who were on your site in 2003-2006 pre-iPhone? They switched; it’s still the same people, just a smaller screen.

If we can build haptic interfaces (and we can) with HTML 5 and no app store, well, it’s pretty clear where the future is, and it’s not in a walled garden.