Software — An App v A Feature

I read a comment on this blog from a guy (Jim Grey) who makes extraordinarily insightful comments. He hasn’t made a lot, but the ones he’s made are shrewd and well written. He writes an interesting blog I read from time-to-time.

He got me thinking about something at the juxtaposition between apps and software features.

He raised the question — is Zoom an app? Well, of course it is.

But, will Zoom one day be a feature in a larger more extensive piece or suite of software? An offering from a broader software company? I expect the answer to that is also “of course.”

I recall with clarity when Microsoft began to buy up all the office productivity software. My first sense of it was when they offered both Word and Excel (Visicalc, Lotus 1-2-3 I remember y’all.). I was used to buying software one brick at a time and, suddenly, here was Microsoft offering me a suite of services.

I use MS Office 2013 and therein I receive Access, Excel, Word, One Note, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook. I also get Skype (for business), Visio, LinkedIn, Teams (Slack competitor). It is a fairly complete offering for my purposes.

The other thing that Jim Grey said germane to that discussion was the focus on personal social networking v business platform — the learning point being that Facebook was more of a social networking space and, thus, its Messenger Rooms was more individual and social while Zoom was all about business and enterprise usage. It is an important distinction.

Prediction: Facebook is going to slowly begin to cross that self-inflicted boundary and become more business oriented.

In much the same way that software will eventually eat the world, I think that the day of single purpose apps that can become standalone companies is ebbing and that the future holds a higher likelihood that all of these companies will be features within a far more comprehensive suite or platform.

I am certainly not alone in suggesting this is possible, but now I think it is highly likely.

Sort of a random thought. Thanks for listening. Thanks, Jim Grey, for nudging in that direction.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red