A World Without Apps

Talk by Michel Beaudouin-Lafon (2019)


…with apps today, you are given full, complex software where you don’t have a choice. You have to have all of it or none of it, and you have to learn it, and you have relearn it at each update, and you have learn a different version when you shift from one vendor to another. (7:35)

…the key idea here is to make tools more generic, general, and independent of the environment in which they are going to be used. (12:50)

I often think about this [Samuel Johnson] quote from my late stepfather’s desk: ‘Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.’ (20:51)

I also strongly believe that users should have a bit more control over security and the risks they are willing to take. We learn by doing, we learn by failing, we learn by doing mistakes, we learn by breaking things. And sometimes I want a secure environment and sometimes I want to see what happens if I put my fingers in the plug. (21:17)

I don’t think it is incompatible to have more flexible environments and security. What I’m advocating for is the ability for people to make choices. (23:24)

I do not believe that this type of change will come from the companies that dominate computing at the moment, in the same way that GUIs didn’t come out of IBM at the time. (30:43)

My take is not to try to directly address the wider audience, but to try with niche markets. (31:20)


  • suggesters: jryans
  • curators: jryans