Christian Heilmann

Mobile first, and last, and always

Sunday, April 1st, 2012 at 12:01 am

A wise man said that the only constant is change.
Personally I found I wasted a lot of time lately.
Reasoning with myself, I came to a few conclusions.
I need to stop concentrating on the open web.
Learning this was tough, but it makes sense.

Free software and open systems are stifling.
Open means in a lot of cases lack of innovation.
Open also means that you need to support the past.
Looking at closed innovation, I get jealous.
So I came to the conclusion to only care about mobile.

Let’s face it – surveys show that 7 out of 10 people own at least one brand new mobile device and the others are just saving money to catch up. Innovation happens in closed environments and the real changes that make a difference only happen when new hardware comes out. Now for example we have to re-do all the graphics we had done in the past because of higher resolutions. There is no way end users should suffer a blurry display as we were not insightful enough to prepare for this. Desktops are a dying breed and there is no point in thinking that way any longer.

In the end there should be one platform, one browser engine and one device manufacturer. The web also needs one company to own it so we can innovate and concentrate on building delightful experiences instead of dealing with implementation differences. True, connectivity is an issue, but once we allow companies to step up and control that instead of meddling data protection people and governments that shouldn’t be an issue either.

It is also true that not everybody can afford buying new devices all the time, but let’s think about that: in the end we need to make money from our work, so why target people who don’t have enough money? We could just define our market and make apps that are delightful and beautiful and use all the newest features our users deserve and make sure to keep a constant flow of apps out there. If it is more than a month old, discard it and get a new version. We have to move on! Iteration is for whiners.

Talking about making money: I am aware that a lot of people come here for old articles and information I gave out free. That will change soon – there will be a small fee to access the old content and I will add DRM to the upcoming articles. I got to make ends meet and get the money to buy new devices, too.
I just need to find a way to bill you. As we all know Paypal is evil and hate everybody, so I will probably go with Square. This means of course that only US visitors can pay, so for the time being Europeans and Asian visitors will get creative commons licensed pictures of cats. If you are honest with yourself, you should move to the States anyways as there is no innovation or opportunities outside the valley.

Which also brings me to a personal change that will happen. I’ve been following the rise of “brogrammers” for quite a while now and I love it. American education systems and its concept of sororities and fraternities is a beacon of light and something every market should encourage and copy. As I am too old to be a “brogrammer” I thought it would be a good opportunity to coin a new term. From now on I shall be a Jockleader – it mixes the sexiness and inspiration of a cheerleader with the stamina, determination and competitiveness of a jock. In other words, a pack of awesome.

I am sure you understand, there is no way I can waste my time any longer. Future friendly is for pussies, we need to stalk and bear-hug the future. Maybe high-five it, too.

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