MacDirectory Magazine

Mike Thompson

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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new things you can do that you wouldn’t dream of doing either with a phone or with a computer.

Architecturally, it’s a computer. Computer engineers will look at it and say, “oh yeah, I recognize within it a computer running on an operating system,” which used to run on a desktop or a workstation, or even the mini computer called Unix. And it runs on the microprocessor that eventually gets to be good enough and fast enough to be a desktop as they just did, but it’s been packaged in a container and the market that did not exist before. And as a result, it redefines the P, or the Measure of Performance. It redefines P, which is what the goal of an entrepreneur should be. Redefining P or recalibrating P is what is really at the heart of disruption. To create products that are worse or not good enough in the original dimension of performance, but awesome on a new dimension of performance. This is what Apple does over and over again. Dave: Jumping on the iPhone, it’s been my long-held view that the iPhone was not disruptive, but sustaining to the mobile phone market—most users look at an iPhone and say this is a better phone. Certainly iPhone helped catapult consumers’ use of mobile services. So we can safely assume that the iPhone definitely sustained mobile phones. I believe the real disruptive force of the iPhone was not what Apple produced directly, but in their enabling a new form of software development. The iPhone, by way of the AppStore, was disruptive to software development. Before the AppStore, software development required many more people and expertise—both deep and broad—to essentially wrap their work around an operating system or to create something that interfaced with “programs” as we used to call them. But the AppStore enabled many more people with fewer resources, skills, and experience to make money creating software. With this, the iPhone passed one of our “disruptive innovation litmus tests”: enabling a larger population of people with less expertise and fewer resources to do something that in the past could only be done by experts or was available to people and orgs that had more resources. Horace: And now apps are constantly being refreshed and updated without developers having to box them and put them on the shelf, and without the licensing terms which used to be onerous: end-user license agreements, corporate deals and so on. They changed distribution. And as a result of that, they changed the economics and they changed the fabric of computing, from the software side. It’s hard to get this across because software businesses are complex to explain. But the scope is vast—they enabled different layers of software to be created, for example, the whole ride-hailing industry wouldn’t exist for, well, not for the smartphone because it required your location when you summon it outdoors. We have as, a result, not only billions and billions of dollars of income that’s being generated through the AppStores, but also we have tens of millions of new workers in that value chain whom we call developers. They used to be employed in large corporations, but now increasingly they’re self-employed or working in small companies. Farshad: This very much reflects my personal experience as an app developer around the birth of the iPhone. The iPhone was definitely a marvel of engineering but I just didn’t see it as a business. When Apple opened the iPhone up to developers, I imagined it would be a fun hobby. I just didn’t see it in the same class as our client work. But my partner Lauren, insisted that we figure out a way to release some apps on the AppStore. She thought this was a great opportunity. By piggybacking on Apple’s brand, customer relationships and distribution network, we would have a new class of users—the consumers. When I mentioned to an indy software developer friend, he asked bluntly: “how many $1 apps do you have to sell to pay your bills?” This was too good an opportunity to pass up. So I created a simple app called Digital Clock signed it and uploaded it to Apple’s backend—it turned out to be the first of its kind on AppStore! Apple’s developer documentation back then was even more scant than now, and

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