In his post, Will makes a great observation as to why the app didn’t happen years ago:
"There are many different ways to answer the question, but I think it boils down to 2 things: first, while most cable companies have invested heavily in behind-the-scenes infrastructure to deliver broadband and other advanced TV services, relatively few new on-screen services have been created because cable is largely a closed environment for application developers. Cable has been closed because cable operators have it in their DNA to be focused on control of what goes into their subscribers' homes. Letting "a thousand flowers bloom" is not in the average cable executive's mindset.
Second, and as a byproduct of this, most developers have ignored the cable environment. While Apple's App Store boasts of hundreds of thousands of innovative apps, the cable world has lumbered to deliver a tiny fraction of this amount, and at a glacial pace. It's not for lack of interest by developers; going back to the mid-90s there has been interest in interactive apps. But between the technology impediments and the cart-before-the horse negotiations over revenue splitting that cable operators inevitably get into, most developers have simply moved on to the open, flexible Internet. That's been a huge missed opportunity for cable, which could have been an intensely appealing platform for interactivity. Instead the door has been opened wide for others like Apple and Google to rush in."
And right on cue, last week Google announced Google TV.
Will’s point is so spot-on I’ve posted his words verbatim and I’d recommend you read them again and contemplate what this means for your business. No, really, read them again. I’ll wait.
In a world where the iPhone comes out of nowhere with a hundred thousand apps and Netflix is streaming its movies to dozens of devices, twitter’s amazing ecosystem, and eBay doing $7B/year via APIs, you CANNOT AFFORD to keep your doors closed to outside innovation. Our own Sam Ramji presented a very well received talk on the change in business strategy APIs are forcing.
Is your business open to outside innovation? What would happen if your competitor opened its business to developers tomorrow?