MWC 2014: Mobile OS Entering the Stasis Field (@jaygoldberg)

Not a lot of hope out there if you’re trying to emerge from that “lower tier” as a mobile OS developer: meaning anything that isn’t iOS or Android. The best best seems to be Firefox OS.

Jonathan Goldberg from Digits to Dollars:

Targeting very low price points may give them an advantage. At the very least, it could potentially allow them to build up some volume. Done right, they could get to a few hundred million users in a few years. Even if these are the world’s poorest users, that would still be a significant user base. Enough critical mass to attract developers.  But the clock is ticking. My guess is that these devices do not really get into volume production until late this year. Then more carriers have to get lined up, more OEMs and more retail distribution. Factor in the usual production delays, and Firefox does not really start building users until 2016. By that point, Android devices may start reaching those price points.

Note that these $25 smartphones are also intended to be EDGE-only (2G).

We Need to Replace Objective-C (@ashfurrow)

The point isn’t that Objective-C needs to be replaced today, but rather that eventually, progress in programming languages is going to leave it behind. Someday, someday soon, writing Objective-C as we know it today will seem as antiquated as writing assembly. That’s going to hurt Apple.

Christmas Gifts and the Meaning of Design (@stratechery)

Nice read for founders and anyone building anything, really:

The most fundamental part of design is truly understanding your customers at a deeper level than they even understand themselves. Moreover, to truly be design-centric is harder than being market centric. Things like surveys and focus groups persist because, while the products that result may not inspire love, they don’t inspire hate – or worse, apathy – either.

Now that I think about it, I wonder if this isn’t a reason contributing to the lack of ingenuity sometimes seen on display in the case of mobile apps, where you have a multitude of copycat apps all fighting to build essentially the same piece of software, with the same core functionality. We all know that true innovation is hard enough as it is. But when the rules set by the app stores make it exceedingly difficult for an app that isn’t flawlessly intuitive out of the box to recover and gain ground, you start to wonder if it isn’t working to stifle innovation; if developers are just saying ‘screw it, I’ll build what I know will make money rather than gamble on something that may be groundbreaking but hard for people accustomed to doing the same things to conceptualize.’