In truth, we were kidding ourselves. While Curl had some technological advantages, Adobe Flash was the RIA winner with somewhere around 97% penetration on the Desktop and an army of hungry Flash developers creating really cool web sites. We didn't have a chance. I got laid off. My friends and boss got laid off. The company has all but disappeared as far as I can tell. Here is my blog post from January 2008 when I joined Curl. And here is my first blog post about the company after I left. (I was really into Microsoft Surface back then.)
In the last days of my short tenure at Curl I watched with envy while Adobe took over the World with their awesome graphics and tools. If you would have asked me then I would have said that Adobe was going to rule the Internet in another five or ten years. How wrong I was and how tenuous is the domination of any company in these fast moving times.
When the Apple iPhone came out without Flash people complained. I complained. But in truth it wasn't that big of a deal and soon I forgot all about Flash as I surfed the web from my little Jesus phone. It's been less than two years since then and the World, in my eyes is totally different. Now the coolest kids on the block are developing iPad applications. Don't believe me? Go to any party loaded with software developers and its the iPhone or iPad developer that walks out the door with the hottest date - and probably the only one with a date for that matter.
All kidding aside it seems like the dominance of Adobe Flash was eons ago doesn't it? How fast things change. If you want to be doing really cool work there is only one place to be in my mind and that's on the iPad and iPhone. At least for now. Talk to me in another two years and I'm sure I'll be off doing something totally different. I love this business. It's impossible to get bored.
Today, I discovered that Steve Job's has written an open letter about why the iPhone OS will not support Flash. Although some of it is a bit of a stretch (like the roll-over stuff) the bulk of it it is right on target. I've worked for the last 15 years on platform independent technologies and I can tell you that's its a joy to be doing platform specific work for a change where the software and hardware are like one. You know how things are going to work and when you run into problems finding solutions is sooooo easy, because everyone is working on exactly the same hardware, operating system, and SDK as you are.
So are iPhone and iPad developers "locked-in" to the iPhone OS? Most definitely. And no one is complaining about it. In fact we are bragging about it. For me. For now at least. It's: Goodbye Java. Goodbye Microsoft. Goodbye Adobe Flash. Hello, Apple iPhone OS!