Grab someone at your next rubber chicken dinner (or start going to cooler events) and ask them to explain the new economics of the web.
Expect blank stares. Not because they're thick, but because it hasn't been fully established yet. The economy of it all is in its infancy and changing fast. We tend to get the most accurate snapshot of things as we enjoy the luxury of looking back on them.
What we know for sure, today?
The open web is not dead.
This from the New York Times:
People who find the Web distasteful — ugly, uncivilized — have nonetheless been forced to live there: it’s the place to go for jobs, resources, services, social life, the future. But now, with the purchase of an iPhone or an iPad, there’s a way out, an orderly suburb that lets you sample the Web’s opportunities without having to mix with the riffraff. This suburb is defined by apps from the glittering App Store: neat, cute homes far from the Web city center, out in pristine Applecrest Estates. In the migration of dissenters from the “open” Web to pricey and secluded apps, we’re witnessing urban decentralization, suburbanization and the online equivalent of white flight.
There will always be premium editions of every service, every app on the web. Does this mean the elite provider that vettes for quality is impeding the evolution of the open web?
It means millions of people find value in the product. It means early and continuous adoption of new platforms and apps happen more quickly because the iPad/iPhone experience is at a superior level (relative to most anything else in the space.) And guess what? If someone else comes up with a better platform, with better apps, at preferred rates, with no barrier to development, people will migrate there too.
The question isn't about open or closed. The web is open. The ultimate equalizer. Apple and Adobe aren't responsible for the web being less so. If anything, they're acting as catalysts for competition and innovation.
The open web is far from dead.
Develop the next big thing and you'll see (with apologies to the Cranberries) that it's all in your head. In your head. In your head. Zombie...