Recently I was wondering how the web, technology market, gadgets, … should look like if there were no big innovators the last few years. I thought it was worth it to share my thoughts with you.
What if there was no Google?
We would probably still combine all kind of search engine’s suboptimal search results to find what we need on the web. Maybe there would exist some portal which combines these results but they wouldn’t be good at all and you would still be able to get high rankings by putting some words a thousand times in the meta data of your HTML source.
We would probably still write our documents offline, use crappy mail programs where conversations don’t exist and we always had to search for related mails if a new reply was sent. Navigation, maps-software would always lead you to the wrong place and web app interfaces would be ugly, bloated and absolutely not user friendly.
Probably for all the software, good or bad, user friendly or not, we should pay, wait months for bug fixes and new features and had to renew our license every year.
Google just has a great business model. They just improve the web instead of just selling software or licenses and that’s what I like about that company!
What if there no good alternatives for IE?
WEB 2.0 would probably not exist because there was no innovation in the browser world. Developers and web designers would get angry because of all the incompatibilities and the lack of following standards.
Due to Opera, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Chrome, HTML5 and CSS3 will be adopted, the web will be richer and you can create a site that just works fine without ugly hacks for every new browser version.
I’m glad Microsoft finally phases out IE6 and has set up a campaign to discourage people to use IE6. I’m also glad about the way Microsoft changed, due to competition. IE9 doesn’t support CSS3 and HTML5 very well but at least it supports the new W3C standards instead of using custom CSS styles… And soon there will be IE10 which will support CSS3 and HTML5 much better. If they don’t, IE will just lose a lot of market share.
What if there was no Apple?
We would still use ugly, not user friendly mp3 players that look like an USB stick with a small screen. Tablets and smartphones maybe wouldn’t exist or at least they would be less popular. 1 problem I have with Apple is that it’s all about the hype and that their products are expensive, but they are innovative and of great quality.
Conclusion: innovation drives IT and the rest of the world. Stagnation means decline…