I find it disconcerting how often I see yet another tech company creating a walled-garden, lock-in or a vertically integrated system that provides very little benefit to the Internet as a whole. They stand on the shoulders of many amazing people who selflessly provided groundbreaking technology for all to use. These new companies don't "pay it forward"; they merely look to extract value out of those earlier works.
The unfortunate thing is that by taking such a selfish approach, these new companies are likely hurting themselves as much as they are depriving the world of useful technology. Even in a company as successful as Twitter, I see that by initially keeping a strangle hold on the network and eventually stomping on the ecosystem developers built, and which ultimately helped them succeed, Twitter has severely limited the possibilities that their network might have developed into. I saw where Twitter was going when I developed Twemes.com in 2008 and ended up abandoning any further work in that ecosystem because I saw it as being a losing battle.
Truly groundbreaking and open technologies layered on the bedrock of the Internet have slowed to a trickle. The only real successes in recent times have been RSS and OAuth. The giant tech companies are trying to bury RSS. And, OAuth is still a limited, fledgling technology.
I hope to write more in this blog about some of the ideas that have been rattling around in my head for the last decade or so, specifically my ideas around adding a layer of Internet infrastructure that can help raise the lowest common denominator and that the next generation of technologies can be built on.