Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 10:30 AM

20 years later, platforms are still Chinese households

On October 29, 1994 I wrote an emotional piece about being a developer for Apple.

I had just read an Amy Tan novel about life in China many years ago, and found a lot in common with the life of Mac developers in 1994. Developers cook the meals, care for the babies, and don't ask for much in return. Apple was in trouble, my theory went, because the developers weren't getting enough love.

"A platform is a Chinese household. One rich husband. Lots of wives. If the husband abuses one wife, it hurts all the wives. All of sudden food starts getting cold. The bed is empty. All of a sudden husband isn't so rich."

Today Apple has recovered. The platform isn't exactly a happy household, but it's better than it was then. Twitter has the problem Apple had then.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, someone once said.


Here's an excellent example of the mistake many platform vendors make.

IBM is not a developer that will help Twitter overcome the obstacles in its way. The devs that matter are people, not huge companies.

Apple made that mistake too, parading out partnerships with Borland and IBM, and overlooking the developers, including Microsoft, btw -- who were cooking the meals.

Last built: Sun, Mar 22, 2015 at 5:50 PM

By Dave Winer, Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 10:30 AM. All baking done on premises.