At this year’s London Music Hack Iain Mullan created this totally hilarious and awesome hack of Johnny Cash’s song “I’ve Been Everywhere Man”.
Go and watch it. Watch the whole thing. I’ll wait.
Funny, isn’t it?
Now here’s the thing. When I saw this today I first laughed. It was witty, cool, fun. And then it dawned on me — THIS is precisely the reason why I love the web and why it matters. Iain could create this fun thing on a weekend at a hackathon, upload it to his personal website and by now probably millions of people have seen it, shared it on Facebook, Twitter through email or even wrote a newsletter about it. Imagine a world where we only have iOS, Android and all the other closed platforms.
This would just not be possible. Iain would need to write this for every platform he wants to support — Objective C for iOS, Java for Android, etc. Then he would need to submit his app to the app stores. Oh — and before he can do this, he needs a developer account which, in the case of Apple for example, costs him $100/year. And then people can’t just share this — they need to download his app. They can’t even easily share a link to the app but need to tell their friends to go to the app store and find and download the “I’ve Been Everywhere Man” app.
And this is why the web matters.