Friday, August 3, 2012

Trouble in the walled garden

This article raises some interesting points.  Specifically about the effect of ... well "political instability" within the Apple App store.  This is equivilent to any other form of instability in an environment or niche.

The population within that environment cannot adapt to the environment because the "time to adapt" is longer than the environments "time between changes".  Effectivly the population will mostly "suck" at "exploiting" the opportunities in the environment in an optimal way.

Now..... what to do? What to do?  Do what?

Well if there is an exodus of both customers and sellers from a market place... the market place will either diminish or must recruit more of both.  Since the Apple App store has a constant stream of new customers ( purchasing new devices and being main-lined into the App store exerience) this is partially mitigated.  The other side of this is that there is a whole mass of App developers who are just waiting for the opportunity presented when a big name app exits the market place.  This mitigates the other part of the problem.

The only people who loose are the developers who exit the app store and their customers who follow.  They all go to tiny niche app stores ( developer web sites ..etc) which are more fagile and have a much higher level of risk.  Let me put it this way... would you bet on a small app developer being here in five years or Apple being here in five years? 

The problem with the position in the article above is that the developers think they are unique and have some irreplacable "stuff".  This, I would contend is ..."crap".  (Technical term...)

In the event that an App exits the market place simply because the developer is too arrogant to adapt to the changes in the market place... it will be about 0.01 seconds before someone else starts trying to replace them....even if they offer less functionality or do things differently... they will grow and follow what the customers need/want/crave/etc. 

No one will miss the apps and developers that have left to find there own destiny in the waste outside the walled garden.... simply because they have no way to control the "Unique-ness" they assume they possess.  It can be replaced with other "Unique-ness" of similarly ephemerial specialness. 


A few may follow... for a while, but there is no cost to the customers to return to the walled garden when they choose.  There is a huge cost to the developers to leave and then return.  Their position will be lost/diminished/destroyed. And no one will care....  There is no loyalty when the choice is between functionality or no functionality.  The customer will go where their pain is least... however, they also will not try every option to optimise their choice... they will simply stop with the first/nearest option that reduces their pain enough to be worth while.  Satisficing. 

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