Why Flash died-Proprietary doesn’t work

I’ve been thinking about why Flash died, and it isn’t the technical reasons that most people think it is. I believe it died because proprietary solutions don’t work.


A common sight if you work in IT

Yes Flash had issues with being reliable, safe, and draining batteries. However those were side effects of not being supported as an open solution that no one owns. We have seen over time that when companies try to do proprietary technologies they mostly don’t get market support. Things like Firewire, Apple 30 pin iPhone connection, Apple lightning adapter, Apple Thunderbolt, BeOS, NEXT, many varieties of Unix, Dr. Dos, WordPerfect, Betamax, ect.

There are so many other examples of propriety solutions that had a brief life and then people moved on. Yes there are some proprietary solutions like Microsoft Office, Avery labels, HP printers that are very popular and seem too popular to die. However I believe that in time, those products just like many others before them will become commodities and eventually die. Already things like Google Docs are digging into Microsoft’s Office dominance, and with the rise of PDF and websites/databases, office format is becoming less critical than it once was. I would be surprised if Office survives another 10 years frankly. I see people who have moved to PDF as their preferred workflow and it makes lots of sense for many companies.

The problem with technology from the standpoint of proprietary technologies is that there is always a competitor trying to take away the market share of the popular leader. Even the PDF format which is increasingly becoming more important than Office formats has its competition. Now many companies want their information and things for employees on a webpage for many reasons. It makes sense. Why struggle with trying to find a document in a big directory when you can have things indexed and presented to you more easily?

The web is going to continue to dig at proprietary formats until they die. Then I think the competition will be between CMS like WordPress and Joomla and how easy it is to manage data on a larger level. You see the rise of small/mid-sized businesses and the lack of IT qualified people enhances this self-serve model of document management. It is going to be interesting that IT people will move from managing the desktop to managing a cluster of information points, and one that I welcome.

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Search engines that have access to information Google doesn’t have

Source: Ten search engines for researchers that go beyond Google – StumbleUpon

If you are a researcher, involved in academics or just a motivated and curious person these are great resources. I didn’t know about the existence of some of these databases. It is really amazing how many great resources there are in the world isn’t it?

One of the things that I miss about being in college is the great access to databases that are expensive and not available to non academic users. It is really amazing all of the information available with a quick search. When I was in college, this kind of electronic access was just starting, but even then it was overwhelming. What used to take hours to find the perfect reference could be found in seconds. It surprised me that with the fast access to information that so many people choose to be ignorant. When it is easy to learn, why would you want to be stupid?

I discovered to answer to this years later. People seem to want to be stupid to absolve themselves of responsibility. When I have worked in places people have on purpose not learned things so that they didn’t have to do the work associated with it. Even when learning things would make their job easier, they refused to learn. I would sometimes ask why they didn’t want to learn something that would make their life easier. You would hear all kinds of excuses. It dawned on me that for many people, learning is just a way to get a job, and not valuable in itself. How limited their life must seem to them.

What is really sad is that for some people their learning really stops when they graduate. They might pick up a few skills or tricks, but for the most part who they are then, is who they are the rest of their life. One of the best parts of the Internet I think is to challenge people with limited information and experience and to encourage them to consider more things. It seems to me that life is a great opportunity to discover the best version of yourself. There is nothing wrong with loving who you are, but perhaps you can be even more useful to those you love and who love you. Perhaps our life can mean more than just survival and we help reduce the suffering of others. It is humbling to think of the 1 billion people who are food insecure. Food, something we take for granted for most of my readers. The world needs everyone’s effort, skill, intelligence and caring. Does it have yours?

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