Friday, 18 May 2012

NBN: The Platform, App Store and Network are the "Killer App"

Synopsis: The Killer App is the new Ecosystem:
   small Apps, Platforms for Ordinary Folk and the Ubiquitous and Universal Network.

Reviewing notes for these posts:
Led to a new insight:
Killer Apps aren't necessary or likely in the Post-PC era.
In 1995 it was: "The Network is the Computer" ,
in 2012 it's: "The Platform is the Application".
Just the steady take-up from "Early Adopter" to "Early/Late Majority" accounts for a 15-20 fold growth in demand... Facebook & Google started small and Just Kept Growing. Ditto the iPhone.

How big will they get?? Still more people on the planet who can connect to all of them, so "bigger".

I'm starting to form a view that the "Killer Apps" of the PC era were an aberration.

Once people have bought the enabling technology (passed the barrier-to-entry), the marginal cost of additional Apps/Functionality is extremely low and even the simplest of things can be 'cost justified'.

So much so, that even taking 30mins to cost-justify an App purchase would be more than
the goods are worth. Payback on a $5 App, only has to be 5 minutes of saved time, once.
[Which leads to the question: Who's counting the savings for business and individuals?]

The end-end platform is today's Killer App... One Network, One Platform, It All Just Works.
This is going to fuel growth for a decade or more. Look to the history of mobile (voice) phones and "The Internet" in households.
Once the pricing was right, almost the whole of the population has joined in - but in the staggered fashion you'd expect.

That's the point of these things, they're like Post-It Notes® from 3M.
Ordinary people look at them in use and "Get it" very quickly.
It explains why the iPad took-off faster than the iPhone that shot right past all iPods.

The usual Rogers "Diffusion of Innovation" and more lately Christensen's "Disruptive Innovation" models apply. People use the products or services more as they become more comfortable with them, understand them better and pricing is not a barrier. Network effects spread use, as more people get entrained, either because "its the new cool thing" or "hey, I could really use that".

This is the Secret Sauce that Apple understood technically: most users are not computer nerds, good systems must be very easy for Ordinary Folk to use and to accurately model in their heads.
[Apple have their own approach to marketing and controlling their Brand. Not my area of expertise.]

The real commercial question today is: What's the growth potential of this App/Site/Service?

Turnbull and the Libs questioning is based on a false premise: There are No More Killer Apps.

The apparent article of Faith that "faster, better networks will provide an economic and social benefit" can be easily supported with this view. Lowering barriers to adoption will hasten the spread of existing innovation and the quicker adoption of new innovation. I.T. and Communications are still the number 1 way to improve economic worker productivity. People intuitively understand this and apply the same tools, albeit for different purposes, in their personal lives.

There can be no great debate of "value to households versus the costs".
The only debate is: Just when and how much take-up will individual Apps and Service get?

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