A colleague and I were sitting at a sushi bar recently commenting on how scared Google should be of Siri, or just about anything that takes people away from the traditional world wide web....which turned to discussion of the App-ification of everything.
In the midst of our conversation, we quickly discovered how annoyed both of us get when we have to open up a browser versus being able to just use an app to get something done on the web. I no longer go to kayak.com....I go to my iPad and use my kayak app. The same is true of the Washington Post, the Weather Channel, Trip Advisor....you get the picture. (I should mention that I have only owned an iPad for a month - but already my new preferences are hardwired).
This makes the action that I am trying to execute a lot more efficient. But what gets lost? Certainly my use of the internet is more utilitarian, but will it become so effective, so actionable, that I will lose the benefits of discovery that come with browsing, searching and navigating - much like there is no better way to learn your way around a new town than getting just a little lost?
Marc Andreeson has written about how Software is eating the world...and that's beginning to include the web itself.
So where will the opportunities be for new entrants as the way we engage online changes?
Curation, which has already been hailed as the next big thing, will be more important (how else will I find things if I'm not searching). Anyone that makes it easy to App-ify a company's online presence (similar to those that benefited from making it easy for brick-and-mortar's to build websites in Web 1.0, and to get Social in Web 2.0 ) will also benefit. Certainly many, many others that I cannot even conceive of today.