I appreciate what Alexis Mardigral has to say about startups and lack of originality, especially those without a revenue stream:
But more than the bandwidth or the stagnant hardware, I think the blame should fall squarely on the shoulders of the business model. The dominant idea has been to gather users and get them to pour their friends, photos, writing, information, clicks, and locations into your app. Then you sell them stuff (Amazon.com, One King’s Lane) or you take that data and sell it in one way or another to someone who will sell them stuff (everyone). I return to Jeff Hammerbacher’s awesome line about developers these days: “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.”
Worse yet, all this stuff is dependent on machine learning algorithms that are crude and incredibly difficult to improve. You pour more vast amounts of data in to eke out a bit more efficiency. That’s great and all, but let’s not look at that kind of behavior and call it “disruptive.” That is the opposite of disruptive.
Yet many other arguments offered fall flat. Elsewhere Alexis argues the iPad is basically a large iPhone (judging from the increasingly desktop-like, full featured software jumping on the platform, he’s missing the point) and that “we’re working with the exact same toolset that we had on a 2007 iPhone”. That’s totally false; he’s nuts if he thinks the mobile sector isn’t booming in innovation.