I guess it happened like they say in the brochures, the guys in my college dorm started a company (called ‘apture’), now with millions of dollars of initial funding. This by itself is a great feat and I’m impressed that these guys, who could have been you or me in other respects — I know them so I know — made it happen. (But please, this is not to say there is something wrong with being Joe Codemonkey or Bob Engineer.)

At first I wasn’t too impressed with the technology. In terms of conception, popping up content on a page isn’t too much different from what people naturally do by opening tabs or what designers do in more laboriously manual fashion. Sure it looks nicer and saves work, but is that really going to revolutionize the web? Does that befit the ridiculous moniker web 3.0? Of course not. If that’s all there is, it’s a flash in the pan and stupid. But when I realized that server-side embedding is really what they’re doing, I recognized the Trojan potential in this, and I must say it’s a brilliant business move and sets up for potentially much more exciting technologies once they get around to implementing them.

Everybody is trying to sell platform these days, and they do this by taking over your browser and making it merely a passive window, like a television set. If Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon, or Facebook can just get you to surrender your browser to them by installing one of their “platform” tools, then they’re set. They can leisurely figure out on their end what they can deliver to you, which is: whatever they want. What happens on the server side they can control.

So apture can figure out what they want later. What they need is to hook you to them now, and each company hooks you with something useful, be it search, video, socializing, games, page presentation, or something else. Although I must say if you look at the situation this way, then in this race, the most compelling platforms remain Google and Facebook, whose hooks rise to some level of indispensability.


  1. May 15th, 2012 | 2:48

    Have you ever thought about writing an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog centered on the same ideas you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.

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