Age of the interface
One common attribute shared by corporate biggies of the current world - Facebook, Airbnb,Alibaba, Uber - is that they own no content. I read an article about this topic and was pretty fascinated by the thought process that went behind these companies. If anybody had told me prior that, they have a tool that can sell me anything and everything under the sun, without owning a single piece of stock in material, knowing the success reaped by that idea, its really difficult now to give an honest answer as to what would've been my original response. Not only these companies created a seismic change in their domains but the ripple effects had far reaching impact on peripheral industries as well. Einstein might've been tempted to quote "the industry didnt play dice" with these ideas or probably it was all one big sheer co-incidence. But the symbiotic relation between smartphones and apps is a case study in itself. They wish well for each other, for their own growth and survival. I am a borderline Luddite when it comes to technology involvement in personal life. I had to forgo my sturdy Nokia for a Nexus just to access Facebook and other apps. I believe the root cause, for these ideas to take shape, have long been existing. Take any career site for example. They create a common medium, an interface, for collating all opportunities across companies and domains for job seekers and searchers. The concept behind Facebook or Airbnb is almost the same. They offer a friendly common interface for people to share or search. If i try to co-relate any new requirement for a software upgrade or a migration to a newer platform, the reason is similar to why i decided to change my phone, which well served my need to communicate any time with a stable battery life, to a smart phone, which has its own plus and minuses. Be it Mainframes or Java or SAP, its a classic tale of the tail not wagging the dog, yet making it dance to its tunes. Apart from the ease of use and the ability to collaborate and interface well with the end user, rarely have they contributed to any change in business process. Obviously the "ease of use" concept has caught on, spurred by the explosive success of these companies which has resulted in start-ups boom, cutting across all domains. There is a whole new opportunity that lies untapped in the form of cost savings via these apps. Potentially the next big thing is right out there. These interfaces, they didn't create anything new and yet they replaced so many. They finally have made the nomad from the Neanderthals, to stay put in one place to get his needs addressed. The money is definitely on the medium.