I find myself thinking these days about how the app universe will evolve. There are quite a few ideas and analyses on some trends that hint at what’s ahead of us:
- Messaging apps as the command line – I’d written about context here
- The Internet of Cards – Intercom has a good post on this
- Omnipresent computing – new I/O solutions like automotive OS
The common thread through these is the reduction of applications to their smallest viable (and functional) form, while remaining accessible through multiple platforms, including devices and social media, and maintaining their ability for transactions. In essence, we are going through “microchunking” of applications, to borrow Fred Wilson’s term referring to the content revolution we saw with the Web 2.0 wave last decade.
I see two areas to watch as this trend develops. One is the need for flexible SW development frameworks. I suspect these will be open source. But there will be support and services opportunities around them that should allow for creation of sizeable businesses.
The second is a similar opportunity on the operations side. Think of it as a set of standards providing context and interoperability for microchunked apps. As applied to the need around human transport, an example may be standards for my mobile device to signal that :
- I am at point A.
- I need to get to point B.
- I am willing to pay X for this service.
This signal can then get acquired and processed by an open marketplace, and matched with the supply side signals from providers, whether they are taxis, Uber drivers, etc.
I am keenly waiting for Open Bazaar to see how it fares in the wild.