There are game changers and there are Game Changers. HTML5 is the latter. We as humans are very bad at predicting the trajectory of exponential systems thats why we loose money in the stock market, buy insurance for terrorist attack but ignore wearing seat belts etc our fallacies and limitations are well documented in many books including one of my favorite authors Daniel Kahneman‘s book Thinking Fast and Slow. Anyways, I believe the same limitations happens when we look at technology adoption. HTML5 is fast becoming one of those technologies that is going to transform the experience that we have with the Internet. Is it going to be marginally better, no I think it is going to be dramatically better. Roger McNamee has a post termed “What is the Hypernet?” where he goes into the evolutionary detail of how the Internet and the user experience is changing and why he believe HTML5 is going to transform the Internet as we know it. I think he has a sound argument.
I am as bad at prediction as the next joe, but I believe that some of the wrinkles on the Internet as a platform for business has been ironed out in the last decade. We no longer think that buying something on the Internet is crazy, we have started watching movies, videos and listen to music on the Internet. We have started communicating, sharing and connecting with people on the Internet. We are open to sharing our identity on the Internet actually 900.000.000 people have done just that through Facebook. All these events make me want to believe that monetizing the value proposition on the Internet is real, it is happening and traditional businesses or value creators should heed to the call and really jump on this and make the user experience a.k.a their customer experience is great thereby creating more value for their customer and themselves. How many are doing it? as history would tell us, it is a very small percentage… the reason is not because they don’t see the innovation, as Clay Christensen says in his book “The Innovators Dilemma” – they are usually aware of the innovations, but their business environment does not allow them to pursue them when they first arise, because they are not profitable enough at first and because their development can take scarce resources away from that of sustaining innovations (which are needed to compete against current competition). In Christensen’s terms, a firm’s existing value networks place insufficient value on the disruptive innovation to allow its pursuit by that firm. Meanwhile, start-up firms inhabit different value networks, at least until the day that their disruptive innovation is able to invade the older value network. At that time, the established firm in that network can at best only fend off the market share attack with a me-too entry, for which survival (not thriving) is the only reward.
So what is this all got to do with HTML5, I am betting that those startups that are building applications on top of the new infrastructure of Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs using HTML5 and are transforming the user experience are going to win. How does one transform user experience? well, to start with make it mobile and think mobile… what is a poor example of mobile applications built by web companies? well Amazon, Facebook and Twitter comes to mind, so does Google. I am surprised that they are not dramatically re-thinking those applications for the Mobile space. With HTML5 and the App Environment, you can think Mobile and deliver Mobile experience. What are some of the big hacks you could do on Mobile? well, lets start with Amazon… it just sucks! lets be honest, the experience of buying something from the mobile platform on Amazon is not a great experience actually buying something on the web in Amazon is not a great experience either. I think a new incumbant can disrupt Amazon using Amazon. Amazon has solved that problem through the Kindle, the experience of buying books through Kindle is a great experience and I believe that is a winner… Amazon Fire was the next implementation but it was not that good. I hope a new startup would disrupt this space.
- Clay Christensen’s Life Lessons (businessweek.com)
- Why the father of disruption theory is worried about Apple (tech.fortune.cnn.com)
- Roger McNamee: How the ‘hypernet’ is changing the Internet (zdnet.com)