Control, Google, control!♥
Like everything else we do in life, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. In terms of being the best tech company today, Google and Apple are undeniably the best. While it may take a decade to find out who is actually better, it’s definitely very interesting to see the two duking it out on the mobile battlefield. On one end, we have Google taking the open platform, “Don’t be evil” approach. On the other, Apple is taking the controlled, “One man, one platform, one device” approach. For some reason, this just stirred up a lot of memories for me from about three years ago when Facebook launched their platform. For those who don’t remember exactly what happened. Facebook at that time was third to MySpace and Bebo in terms of size but Facebook quickly surpassed the two by opening up their developer platform, inviting developers like us to run wild on their playground. It was beautiful and exciting for both the platform and the developer side. Without fail, Google noticed this phenomenal as well and they were itching to do something about it; Enter OpenSocial. OpenSocial is an APIs that interoperable with any social network that supports them, allowing third party developers to develop on their platform. Sounds like a great idea right? At least Hi5, MySpace, Orkut, Netlog, Friendster, Ning and Yahoo thought so. I remember asking Jeremiah if Facebook is going to adopt OpenSocial as well after he came back from Fire Camp. His answer was no and I just thought that was the strangest move by Facebook. Why is Facebook running a different direction from the rest of the pack? Especially when it’s Google leading them? Now you know, it’s because of control. The way Steve Jobs runs his mobile platform is very similar to how Zuck is running his (and vice versa). It is one man’s vision/crusade on how they see their platform to be beneficial to the world (or themselves). Flash on iPhone? Suck it, Adobe. Can’t grow you apps on Facebook? Quit whining, developers. Yes, I am some what bitter because I am on the developer side and it’s just frustrating your destiny isn’t in your hands. But despite of that, I think it’s generally a good thing when a market isn’t dominated by one single company. People deserve to choose between Coke and Pepsi. Not like you’re listening but if you are, Google, please don’t fail in Android like you failed with OpenSocial. iPhone is already dominating 50% of the smartphone market. Find your Yoda and control your platform.