Mobile Apps Dominance Will Hurt Innovation

Chris Dixon posted with two reason why the decline of the mobile web will hurt innovation. There is a third, more important, reason: slower iteration cycles.

Rapid iteration made the web successful as a platform over shipped software.

Product development cycles are extremely short in the web world. Dream up a feature, develop, deploy, learn, and enhance all within a day. Push new code to a server and your users instantaneously have access to the new feature.

The same cycle for apps takes weeks due to longer development time, App Store approval time, and users have to download your new version. Development times can be improved with better frameworks and OS upgrades. Approval times can be reduced to zero (see Android). However, users will still have to actively download or update your app before they can use your new version.

Longer cycles lead to less iterations. Less iterations means your seed round runs out faster.