App Technology vs. Income

There’s been much discussion recently over web apps vs native apps, especially centered around mobile use. Mobile browsers are becoming more capable and able to support the benefits of HTML5 features for a “rich web experience.” People state cross-device compatibility as a huge win for web apps, where you build one web app which can be used on any modern smartphone.

Others argue the benefits of native apps, like Josh Clark in his response to an article in today’s New York Times on web apps vs mobile apps:

But here’s the thing. We have an app culture right now. In user interviews, I find time and again that people say they use the web primarily for quick lookups, while they use apps for doing. For tasks, games, or recurring activities, people instinctively turn to an app store. And there are good reasons for that. First, it’s certainly convenient: marketing, operating systems, and even the hardware nudges people toward plugging into app stores, where payment is also a breeze. And by and large, native apps tend to deliver better experiences, too.

Most arguments come down to technology. Technology is invisible to the user; they don’t care. They just want it to work. At this point, lets assume we could make our product either as a web app or a native app and people would be happy.

How are you going to make money from that?

When was the last time you paid to access a web site? Bought an app? Right. As we see users pack up and go, not willing to pay after New York Times put up their paywall, people are buying billions of dollars worth of apps.

If you have the balls to charge for your product (and your balls aren’t in some VC’s hand) build a native app.

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