Emergent development

When the University of California at Irvine built their campus, they just planted grass. Then they waited a year and paved over where people had made paths in the grass. I first heard this in an interview with Larry Wall about 10 years ago but it may well be apocryphal.

I’m seeing parallels with what could be going on with Apple’s iPhone development plans. Release a basic device and wait for the crowds to clamour for what they feel is missing from the device. Pay attention to those that shout the loudest (case in point: the recent enterprise features) but make sure that you set some of the most popular requests to one side for introduction in the release of your second generation model.

Compare and contrast to the usual practice of bundling a metric ass-load of rarely-used crapware that serves mainly to clog up the menus on other phones. Video editing and ringtone composition on a mobile phone have been nothing more than gimmicks.

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