Aesop has some great fables but my favorite is The Tortoise and The Hare. I was reminded of it yesterday when I saw this chart in my colleague Nick‘s deck for a talk he is giving this week in Hong Kong:
That is the installed base of iOS phones vs Android phones globally over the last decade.
I have been a long and loud fan of Android’s open (or at least more open) model and an equally long and loud detractor of Apple’s closed model.
I’ve taken a lot of heat and ridicule for it over the years and still do.
But to me, there is no way to win long term with a closed model.
It is a lot like The Tortoise and The Hare.
Closed allows you to build a better user experience and get out of the gate quickly. Open takes longer, the user experience is poor initially and for quite a while, but when open gets going, it is unstoppable.