Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 5th Jan 2014 20:19 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

I came across a website whose purpose was to provide a super detailed list of every handheld computing environment going back to the early 1970's. It did a great job except for one glaring omission: the first mobile platform that I helped develop. The company was called Danger, the platform was called hiptop, and what follows is an account of our early days, and a list of some of the "modern" technologies we shipped years before you could buy an iOS or Android device.

Written by one of Danger's first employees, Chris DeSalvo. Amazing detailed look at some of the revolutionary things Danger did - years before iOS and Android.

It should come as no surprise that I loved this article. I hate how everything is framed as "iOS/Android invented this" - while in fact, both of those platforms rely very, very, very heavily on those that came before, such as PalmOS and Danger.

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maccouch
Member since:
2012-03-14

exactly.

from the wiki but if you read or attended any course or seminar about technology and business innovation they will say the same thin:

"An innovation is something original, new, and important—in whatever field—that breaks in to (or obtains a foothold in) a market or society".

What Thom constantly misses is this differences. it doesn't matter who researched or thought about what first. It definitely matters who first brought it to the masses/society and made a large scale "technological rupture".

Edited 2014-01-06 16:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

You know, you can't say that implementation is more important then the principle - they both are necessary. Implementation is impossible without invention and invention is meaningless without implementation. Saying that innovation is all that matters is like claiming that in tea that's only water that matters.

Reply Parent Score: 4

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

It is the only thing that matters in business is what he was saying.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

maccouch,

What Thom constantly misses is this differences. it doesn't matter who researched or thought about what first. It definitely matters who first brought it to the masses/society and made a large scale "technological rupture".


The issue with this is that there is no "technological rupture", merely technological evolution. As technological costs become less prohibitive over time, more and more "innovation" will inevitably bear fruit. If apple/google/microsoft fail to catch the wave, others would take their place and we would presumably be taking sides of which one of *those* brought about the innovation. What's most important is that innovation happens, not who gets the title.

People who genuinely care about innovation, like you, should be pushing for open computing because that is the environment that fosters the most innovation. We would not be where we are today if the PCs had been locked down. That's why it's a real shame that new generations of devices are all being locked down.

The way I see it, a big reason mobile platforms don't have the same breadth of OS development as old computers is because today's mobile platforms are far more closed/proprietary/locked down and offer much less opportunity for innovative tinkering. There would never be a shortage of software innovation so long as users/developers aren't deprived access to the hardware. Innovation happens naturally across thousands of developers and millions of users. If hardware is restricted, then the barrier to innovation becomes much higher where very few have access. Ironically this has the potential to make the manufacturers' own OS innovation seem more unique and important than is really is.

Edited 2014-01-06 19:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3