Back in 2000 a web developer could buy a domain name (PigeonWatchers.com) and go to venture capitalists and claim that all future pigeon watching hobbyists will use the web page and it would be good for them to invest now rather than after it has become a household name. A IPO and Superbowl commercial later the web developer is laughing in a private jet... or so the story goes.
This didn't really happen that much because PigeonWatchers.com didn't end up the household name it should have been. Plus half the site was not functional because the developers got into a big fight over who's Dodge Viper was cooler and were not willing to continue development until a proper race could be held. This process left a bad taste in the VC investment world and people started dumping tech stocks as the whole thing crashed.
The problem remained. How do developers get paid?
The next generation of great idea-thinking-developers-seeking-money-and-fame-ers used banner ads to raise funds. Suddenly it was profitable to have a blog because people gave bloggers money for each banner ad displayed. This drove the engine of social media, distributed content generation and all the other "modern" technologies used to fund web development. But people hate ads and like their television counterparts, they are not totally effective. As the economy slows down, and technology to bypass ads becomes more common the ad revenues might be drying up.
How will developers get paid?
Apps my son, Apps. With an app you can do almost anything you want and get paid for it directly. Why should a good idea have to hide behind an awkward way to fund it? You can develop the next big thing and charge people to use it. People seem wiling to pay $.99 for an app, would you like $1 for each unique user to your web site? And users will not mind, after all they hate ads and if you ask people to click on the occasional ad you become a money-grubbing troll.
The introduction of Google Chrome 6 and the Google Web Store ( http://code.google.com/chrome/webstore/docs/index.html ) will bring the "App Store" mentality to the browser. One can assume this is a prototype to make a store that can deliver customers who are using phones, chrome browser and the upcoming chromeOS. If this all works out then we are looking at a Google that has the volume approaching Microsoft and the appeal approaching Apple.
Before you think to yourself that Google's volume is not close to Microsoft consider this:
- TechCrunch has noticed that Chrome is sneaking up on FireFox as IE flounders ( http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/02/chrome-firefox-techcrunc/ )
- Google's Android Phones are overtaking Blackberry and iPhone ( http://gigaom.com/2010/08/02/android-sales-overtake-iphone-in-the-u-s/ ).
Can Google synergize the browser popularity with the mobile device popularity and end up with a popular Netbook format? If so, don't you think you should check out the Google Web Store development process (just in case)?
Apps are the future, Ads are now.
I am off to read the development docs, keep an eye out for my Google Web Store app...