In Search Of: The Next Platform

For many years I’ve thought that the surest route to fame and fortune in the modern world of indie software development was to get ahead of the curve and exploit a new, emerging market before it really caught fire enough to get the attention of the big boys with multi-million dollar R&D budgets. That meant predicting what the next big unheralded  platform would be.

At one time I thought that platform was going to be In-Flight Entertainment Systems, those little screens in the backs of some airplane seats that allowed you to do everything from watch movies to play games to search for restaurants in your destination city. Unfortunately, that endeavor failed to take off, no pun intended, to any significant extent.

Next I thought that games, especially casual games, would be the big thing on Linux, which was supposed to take off as a mainstream desktop OS. But then Linux never managed to get that desktop foothold. And regardless, others had started placing bets on that market much sooner than I ever thought they would anyway.

I’m ashamed to admit that the two new platforms that really DID take off, and which I was perfectly positioned to take early advantage of as a long-time Mac developer, I completely missed the early adopter boat on. When the iPhone was opened up to third party development, I thought, “so what?” I never imagined that it would become the Next Big Thing and that simple apps that you could write in a week could make a million dollars. So you would think that I would have learned my lesson in betting against Appl… Steve Jobs. Yet, when the iPad was announced, my response was, “niche product that will never amount to much.” Oops.

So now I know never to bet against Apple/Steve again. And this means that I’m now preparing for the possibility that the next big platform is on the horizon.

Rumors are again circulating that Apple is preparing to release its own line of HDTVsIF this happens and IF such a device can run third party apps like the iPod/iPhone and iPad can, then maybe this is the Next Big Thing that I’ve been waiting years for.

Guess it’s time to start figuring out what kind of television apps I can write.



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