[OT] A tale of App Store rejection

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Mon Jan 21 15:11:31 EST 2013

Robert Sneidar wrote:

 > On Jan 21, 2013, at 8:37 AM, Richard Gaskin wrote:
 >> Apple got where they are on a message of "Think Different", but now
 >> that they're the largest and most powerful multinational in tech
 >> that message no longer applies.
 > Everyone sees the world around them differently. But it wasn't that
 > long ago that we got iPhone and then iPad. Not revolutionary enough?
 > Other companies seemed to think so because they copied the form
 > factor and now what they are doing is being called revolutionary.

Yes, this dynamic plays itself out again and again in tech, where the 
first-mover advantage isn't what it used to be in the Industrial Age, as 
both tech and the capital needed to exploit it are more fluid.

Apple didn't invent the GUI, and after their initial success of 
popularizing it they lost their advantage to the inevitable commoditization.

Apple didn't invent multi-touch UIs (see Bruxton; circa 1980), and the 
same commoditization story is unfolding with mobile as it did on the 

 > I have a 27" iMac sitting on my living room table that I can watch
 > TV on because it has video in. I have an iCloud account that was
 > mobileme that was dotmac.

Exactly:  I have a custom Linux box doing that in my living room with 
XBMC, with another custom Linux box in my office as my cloud, because 
commoditization has brought tech to the point that a handful of hippies 
can give it away for free. :)

In fact, consider this:

When we think of computing we often think of just the desktop, but 
that's just a small slice of how we use computers today.  As we use the 
Internet more and more, the computers we hold in our hands are pretty 
much just our gateway to a larger world of computing, and increasingly 
that gateway is accessed by mobile devices rather than PCs.

On the desktop it's still all about Windows; with its 87%, Mac and Linux 
are both niche players.

But when we look beyond the desktop we see something quite remarkable:

With 65% of servers, 95% of supercomputers, nearly all embedded systems 
like the wifi routers in our homes, and some 70% of mobile devices, 
Linux has effectively become the de facto standard of modern computing 
-- all from a rag-tag bunch of hippies. :)

Once I realized Time Machine was just a front-end for rsync and that 
Cygnus makes that available for even Windows, everything began to change 
in my office.  I finally joined the Maker Generation, custom crafting 
exactly what I need for all of my OSes, mixing and matching cheap and 
easily available tech for ad hoc solutions for any need that comes up 
during the day.

This may seem unrelated, but think about it: I recently stumbled across 
a magazine at my local newsstand devoted to urban dwellers who raise 
their own chickens - DIY is happening in a wide range of forms, tech and 

Look at the number of hacker/maker spaces opening up in major cities. 
Seems like every month I find another one in my neighborhoods.

We used to spend thousands of dollars on RDBMSes.  Today SQLite is 
public domain, and every other DB worth using is GPL, Apache, or other FOSS.

Sure, not every consumer is part of the DIY crowd.  But it's a niche 
that opens up new opportunities, the "early adopters" Geoff Moore wrote 
about, the people one company used to describe as "the crazy ones, the 
rebels, the troublemakers, the ones who see things differently."

 > Sorry Richard, I have the highest respect for you, but I think the
 > notion that apple is for oldies just won't stick to my brain.

Fortunately we have the same opinion, because that's not what I wrote.

I used to spend all my time with just one OS, and I used to have a 
Boolean thought pattern in which if something else is successful it must 
mean that Apple will somehow go away.

But that wasn't my point here.

I was simply reinforcing what Steve himself suggested decades before, 
that when any organization reaches a certain size "it's very easy to go 
into cover-your-ass mode and then you become conservative."

No one rules the roost forever.

Markets diversify as they evolve, and Andre's response to Apple is 
something a lot of developers are doing, not all that different from 
what you suggest here:

 > I do agree however that writing software exclusively for Apple is
 > not a smart thing these days. Anything can happen, and often does,
 > I like to say.

Bingo.  That's pretty much all I was saying; you wrote it much more 

 > Also let me make the point that buying demographic statistics are
 > very deceiving.
 > The real demographic ought to be how many people are switching from
 > iDevice to Android devices as opposed to the other way round.

Not necessarily.  Respectfully, that's a somewhat American/EU view, in 
which we're so dripping with tech that we sometimes feel comfortable 
assuming the question can only be about switching since of course 
everyone's already invested in one ecosystem or the other.

It may be helpful to remember that the very stats on growth rates that 
have so many worried about some supposed "death of the PC" are exactly 
that:  growth rates, not installed base.

For much of the world, mobile computing is in its dawn.

The Internet Age is still very much in its infancy.  They haven't rolled 
out Internet 2 yet so we still have perceptible latency, and our devices 
are still limited by having to choose between a small viewable area or 
something too big for a pocket - but all of that's about to change.

We've seen Bill and Dave, Steve and Steve, Sergey and Larry - maybe next 
we'll see Andre and Alejandro take over the world. :)

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
  LiveCode training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
  Webzine for LiveCode developers: http://www.LiveCodeJournal.com
  Follow me on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/FourthWorldSys

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