Friday, September 5, 2008

Platform Thoughts

I ran into an interesting article today on CNET, titled “"Should software developers fear Facebook, Apple?" In summary, and I’ve dumbed this down considerably for the sake of brevity, the author feels Apple and Facebook’s quality control maintained over third-party applications developed for their respective platforms is excessive to the point of stifling growth in the software development industry. I agree, productivity will be limited by their actions, however I don’t like the causation implied – i.e. larger software developers using their “weight” and influence to force Apple/Facebook to suppress smaller ones.

I tend to skew closer toward this thought. Apple and Facebook may be slightly stifling innovation, but they may be doing so to stay out of court and on the legal side of copyright laws, etc. In my opinion, they’re ultimately raising the standards for the developer community. As this platform continues to grow, I’m hoping we’ll soon see a chasm between allegedly copyright/trademark infringing developers versus the innovators. With current platforms developing and new ones continually coming to fruition, original and useful applications will be recognized as such and widely adopted, period. We’ve reached the point of application saturation in which truly only the “cream” will rise to the top.

What do you think? Does it make sense for Facebook/Apple to control applications or should they be more of a platform? From a brand perspective, was Scrabulous hurtful or helpful?

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