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The future (and past) of Apps

When the first personal computer, the Apple, was invented in the 1980s, people needed a reason to use it. What became the "killer app" was a way to do spreadsheets on a computer. Before the invention of that "killer app", spreadsheets had to be done with pencil and paper.

Since then, applications have become more and more complex. If you take a look at some of the applications today to just write a letter or do a spreadsheet, you are seeing 30 years of complexity piling up upon complexity. These applications are huge, and expensive. An industry grew up after a while just to teach people how to use these applications. I watched the applications developed by Adobe gets incredibly complex. I mean, have you looked at Adobe Dreamweaver lately? And the biggest winner has been Microsoft. They can charge anything they want, and they do!

The good news is that the trend is going to be back to simpler apps. It's already happening on your iPhone and your Android. Google will be leading the way, and in the future paying thousands of dollars for software, and the software it takes to run the software, and the hardware to run that software, will be seen as ridiculous as is now is. Trust me, it doesn't take thousands of dollars worth of hardware and software to make a spreadsheet, or to write a letter. When this stuff was first invented, it was small enough to run from tiny disks that today are no bigger than what is in your cell phone.

And that's the point. This monster in front of me (my computer) holding Gigs and Gigs of expensive software is on its way to becoming a dinosaur. Computers grew to handle the ever-growing software. And software has grown to such ridiculous sizes because we lost track of what we wanted to do. We wanted to do spreadsheets, to write letters. All of this is on the way back. They are called apps. Sure, most of them are goofy, tiny little things. But they are the future. And the future is gonna be a whole lot easier!