Let’s start with where I was right:
Imagine if there’s a way to have your web application say: “please go pick a contact from your address book, then post that contact’s information back to this URL”. Or if the web application can actually prepare a complete email on your behalf, image attachments included (oh the security issues….), and have you just confirm that, yes, you really want to send that email (the web app definitely can’t do that without confirmation)?
And in my followup post:
Then there’s one tweak that could make a huge difference. Let a web application add itself to the dashboard.
Where did I go wrong? I thought this innovation was going to be unleashed by Apple with their introduction of the iPhone.
In my defense, if you read between the lines of the iPhone announcements back in 2007, it’s possible that Apple actually meant to do this. But then they didn’t, and they released an Objective C API, and a single closed app store, and locked down payments, and disallowed competition with their own apps, … So much for the Web.
It’s only fitting that the organization that is making this happen is my employer, Mozilla, with Firefox OS. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking credit for Firefox OS: there is a whole team of amazing leaders, engineers, product managers, product marketers, and generally rockstars making that happen. But it’s nice to see that this vision from six years ago is now reality.
What about data? What about services? It’s time we redesign those. They, too, need to be freed from central points of control and silos. Data & Services need to be re-architected around the user. I should get to choose which organization I want to trust and which of my existing accounts I want to use to log into a new site/app/service. I should be able to access my data, know who else is touching it, and move it around as I please. I should be able to like/share any piece of content from any publisher I read onto any social network I choose. Amazing new apps should have easy access to any data the user wishes to give them, so that new ideas can emerge, powered by consenting users’ data, at the speed of the Web.
That, by the way, is the mission of my team, Mozilla Identity, and those are the guiding principles of our Persona login service and our upcoming project codenamed PICL. And of course we’ll continue to build those principles and those technologies into the Firefox OS phone (Persona is already in there.)
The Web is the Platform. And the User is the User. I’m quite sure Mozilla is the organization made to deliver both.