We shape our tools and in turn they shape us. Until of course the familiar suddenly looks less familiar. Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures shapes technology in two significant ways. 1) by writing about 2) by investing in it. Here is his own account of a personal awakening – on the road to Damascus. At first the smartphone + app paradigm he accepts seemingly against his better judgement. (but for how long). But after the awakening he senses all manner of possibilities that he might as easily have ruled out, as recently as yesterday.
I saw two HTML5 apps yesterday. One running in my Android browser. The other running in the iPad browser. They looked and worked exactly like their mobile app counterparts. It was a mind opening moment.
There still are issues. When I went to show one of the HTML5 mobile apps later, my mobile data connection wasn’t there and I couldn’t load it in my Android browser. But a friend told me you could cache all the elements, including the database, on the phone and deliver an offline experience in HTML5 in the browser.
I’ve always disliked the idea that we have to download apps on our phones when the apps we use on the web are loaded in the browser on demand. But I’ve accepted the mobile app paradigm as something we will be living with for the next five years.
I’m not sure it’s five years anymore.