2009-12-20

Thoughts on Google's client software strategy

We’d all like a peek inside the mind of Eric Schmidt—beyond just understanding what he’s wearing in his twitter profile picture. Search and maps and profiles: these all make sense. But there are a set projects that Google has been putting out lately that don't fit. They're open source and focused on the client machine.
Some of these are put under the banner of "making the web faster".
Let me go a step further.

Google makes lots of money when you're clicking. The faster and more efficiently you consume their experiences, the more you click. The more you click, the more money Google makes.

But there are bumps along the way.
Crappy ISPs
Out-dated operating system.
Outdated and/or bloated browsers, protocols, and programming languages.

Google was silent on these for a long time--pushing existing technologies in novel or extreme ways--AJAX with Google Maps, Java Web Toolkit for Javascript, even shoe-horning Chrome into IE.

In the end, the've decided to cut out the middle man.

Ponder the stack of technology between you and Google's web offerings. When Eric Schmidt thinks about protocols, operating systems, and browsers--he has the same thoughts as Bill Gates did 20 years ago--about disk drives, CPUs and RAM.

Make them solid. Make them better.

But keep them out of the competitive picture.

Commoditize.

MSFT did it riding a wave of cheap PCs.
GOOG is doing it by riding a wave of free software.

2009-12-17

Tomorrow. Seattle. Have a Mac? Wanna learn Rails?

I had a friend ask me if I'd be willing to teach him Rails. I said sure. Then I got to thinking: what would it take? Take a code-savvy person and teach them enough Git and Ruby and ActiveRecord to get them moving.

So I'm going to try it on Friday. Maybe just with Donald, but if anyone else wants to join us on Capitol Hill in Seattle, you're welcome.

Requirements:
  1. Have done some coding.
  2. Have some experience with web sites, HTML, etc.
  3. Have a Mac.
  4. Free on Friday, Dec 18, in the afternoon.
  5. The catch: you must bring proof of at least a $50 donation to the EFF, Creative Commons, or WikiMedia. (If you're in a tight spot, we can talk.)
Drop me an email at ror4aday (at) j832 (dot) com if you're interested. I might do something slightly more formal in January, too.

See you on Friday.