Monday, June 22, 2020

The Art of the Possible

John Siracusa (tweet, 2, Hacker News):

Today, Apple’s stance seems to be that if they just hold the line on a few key provisions of the App Store rules, companies will build their business models around the Apple’s revenue cut in the same way companies built their business models around the costs of brick-and-mortar retail in the pre-Internet days. Apple seems to firmly believe that its ambitious goal state can be achieved with something close to the current set of App Store rules.

This belief is not supported by the evidence. Years of history has shown that Apple is getting further away from its goal, not closer.


Apple’s App Store rules need to change not (just) because developers don’t like them. They need to change because time and experience has shown that there is no viable path to Apple’s goal state given the existing rules. […] A hardline stance will not sway hearts and minds, and it has proven unable to change developers’ business models without sacrificing the user experience.

John Gruber:

It feels like Apple is fighting for its own long-ago-established vision for how the App Store ought to be, rather than making sweeping changes to account for how it actually is. They can do this because they have such tremendous power, but why? Why fight it?

Michael Love:

Since iOS, Apple has launched four major new “platforms” […] And every one has been a complete bust in terms of developer support, yet they seem to think everything is totally fine with App Store policies.

This is scarily close to what happened to Microsoft when they sabotaged promising new platforms like Windows Mobile to protect their massive profits from desktop Windows / Office, and absent a dramatic change I fear Apple is headed down the same path.

10 years from now, that line about Basecamp not contributing any profits is going to read exactly like Palm CEO Ed Colligan’s comment about PC guys not being able to just come in and figure this out.


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