January 9, 2007 was a significant day in tech history. The release of the iPhone marked a massive turning point in the consumer mobile market. For years, mobile applications lacked two things:
- Freedom from mobile operator walled gardens
- Touch interfaces
Opinions about Steve Jobs vary depending on who you speak with, but one thing is for sure: Jobs understood the “intersection of Liberal Arts and Technology” like no other tech leader before him. Apple opened the mobile applications market like only Apple can, and with that, ushered in the next wave of mobile computing. As described in his biography, Jobs saw the smartphones of the day as a potential threat to his very profitable iPod business. So rather then sit at bay, Apple re-invented the smartphone like only Apple can. To paraphrase the iconic CEO: Why use a stylus when God gave us five on each hand?
Mobile application developers were not only challenged with the burden of developing for many different mobile devices and languages, but many of them had to deal with operator bureaucracy and a sub par user interface. Carriers were known for their slow moving, specification heavy, communication protocols. WAP, SMS, MMS, SS7, IMS, GSM, RADIAN, and more were all a part of an operator’s nomenclature. However, with the advent of the iPhone and Apple’s clout, operators were forced to evolve.
Consumers used to outstanding internet services and iPods were demanding a better experience, and sales of the iPhone proved that. Excitement was abound, and all the hype around mobile technology was not going away anytime soon.
So what does all this have to do with JBBMobile anyhow? Well, let me explain.
Fast forward to June 2009. The economy is in the tank, yet iPhone sales are unreal. So, like any tech enthusiast, I spent my vacation in San Francisco to see what the hype was all about. WWDC 2009 changed my life, literally. Drinking all the Odwala juice I could get my hands on and sitting in brilliant tech session after brilliant session I realized (like many others, I’m sure) that ubiquitous computing was just around the corner. What used to be a phone and a simple communication tool was evolving into a full fledged computer capable of much more then solitaire.
One of the great treats to being at an Apple dev conference are the keynote speakers. In 2009 Apple brought in Niel Young from ngmoco. His speech was all I needed to hear to make the leap. With a stable secure job at EA, Neil knew that Apple was changing the gaming industry. His advice was simple, don’t miss the boat and start now … so I did .
I had no idea what I was going to do … but the first step was knowing I was going to do something …