I want you to feel limitless

Posted on March 24, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I wrote this about the mobile internet a few months ago.  I didn’t publish it because it felt pretty raw and not necessarily representative of what I aspired to solve as a company, but I just reread it before sending to a friend, and it still feels pretty true…so here ya go:

when you take your phone out of your pocket, i want you to feel limitless.  When you open the internet on your PC there is a sense of infinite opportunity that is lost on mobile

We have sacrificed that sense of infinite opportunity in the name of instant access to known habits and intentions

We have done this because the internet is a vast and nuanced environment.  On our phones it is very difficult to move around in it.  It’s hard to move between corners of the web.  It’s hard to make a mistake.  It’s hard to see content and take actions.  It’s hard to engage with an internet that was designed under the assumption that you would be seated with a keyboard and mouse when accessing it.

In many ways, you could say Apple is spawning a new internet, free of these challenges.  The architecture is different (it’s not truly the web), but consumers don’t care.  Apps submitted through the appstore are where users get to enjoy some of the experience of the internet (communication, information consumption, etc) delivered by designers and developers who didn’t have a keyboard and mouse in mind when they tried to figure out how to help you do what you are trying to do.

I think this is half right. Apple’s focus on quality and consistency of experience does, in fact, solve much of the frustration existent within the web on your phone.  I agree with Apple…I want to banish the “old web” from your phone forever.  I want to banish the concept of a centralized browser as the way you access the web on your phone. But the long term solution is not to throw away the infinite opportunity that we have come to expect.  It is to design access that honors both that promise of infinity and the requirement of usability, independent of what edge you happen to be interacting from.  To get there I think the web needs to be completely reimagined.  Some of the underlying infrastructural components that brought infinity to the desktop are surely welcome in this new mobile paradigm (at least evolutions of them, if not mirrors), but new infrastructural components must emanate from the realities of modern hardware and interface.  We must think of what the web would look like and feel like and work like had we never seen it on a PC.  And we must not let one company’s vision of this future dictate it.  Influence it? Most certainly…I am deeply grateful for how far Apple has pulled us into the future.  But they will not get us to infinity on their own.

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    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I've started a few companies and a venture capital firm. You can email me at Jordan.Cooper@gmail.com (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it)


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