Bug Labs, day 2
Tuesday, July 31, 2007 by Dave Winer.
A few items following up on last night's Bug Labs piece.
1. As Fred Wilson points out in his post, it's the polar opposite of the iPhone. He compares it to Ning, but it seems more like an early PC, and the app designer, if it delivers on its promise, as the BASIC that was bundled (in ROM) with those early machines. The assumption back then was that everyone would program for themselves. That of course led to the earliest users turning their personal labors of love into off-the-shelf products for other users. Hobbyists have always been at the core of the tech industry, it's rare and refreshing to see people deliberately make a product for them.
2. It almost goes without saying, but should be said anyway -- if Bug is any good, it should be possible to create the Podcast Player or Social Camera with it. So maybe Bug will be a prototyping environment for more polished mobile devices, like future iPhones. As a user and a developer my creativity has been locked out of the mobile market because I don't have the requisite hardware skills. Podcasting is one art that would be further along if we had access to the design tools that designers at consumer electronics companies have. There certainly are others. Imagine the mobile devices doctors would create. Building contractors. Bus drivers. Realtors. Tourists. Musicians. Writers. Librarians.
3. I see various VCs commenting on the company. I wonder if there's a complete list of investors. Since we're talking about open technology, and a lot of trust is being asked for, it matters who's behind it. (Fred Wilson responds: Union Square, Spark Capital, Bob Young (Red Hat), Tom Evslin, Brad Feld and Albert Wenger.)
5. How refreshing that they didn't roll this out via Markoff. It probably would have been easy to get him interested, but it's nice that we got first shot at it. In a perfect world that wouldn't matter, but I guess this isn't a perfect world.