Interface innovation is now a Big Boys's Game

Contrary to my initial opinion that 3D Touch was the right button on the early Windows mice, the reviewers all seem to see it a big step forward (but be warned: the utility functions of reviewers and normals rarely meet). Enough of them have claimed it now that I am beginning to wonder if I should reserve judgment until I actually get my own iPhone 6S+.

The sad thing in thinking this through when it comes to startups is that this level of innovation in integration is so far removed from what the typical startup can do. I don't mean build the eighth generation of a super complex device— that is clearly impossible— but rather have the resources to bring new interface modalities into existence like 3D Touch.

This was quite different on the playing field of PC software. There new entrants could use what eventually became the native GUI toolkits but they were also free to invent their own things and use those instead. And in fact in the early days of the Apple II Bob Frankston tells a great story of the crazy hacks they employed to basically build up the UI of VisiCalc to be performant enough.

I guess when all of the interaction is taking place on a block of glass, those days are over— at least for the little guys.