All Apps Are Trash

Eventually. And probably sooner than you think, your app is in the trash.

Mine too. Which is sad for me because I’ve got two of them. The iOS app alone has been downloaded more than a million times, and they’ve both got killer rankings (4.5 stars on iOS and 4.4 on Google Play).

app12Not to mention that it’s taken years and dollars and massive brain power to make those apps work. They, along with our mobile website, provide the majority of our sales.

But they’re also headed for the bin.

Why? Because apps are dying. Oh, they’ve got a nice life ahead of them first, but you can start to see the end of the line. Apps are just thinking about joining AARP and have even started eyeing some property in Florida. Not yet. But soon, you know, when the kids get a little older. (The kids are already adults.)

If you don’t buy it, I don’t blame you. Apps are in their prime. In my opinion (and not just mine but reviewers on App and Play Store), the Goldstar app is the BEST version of Goldstar. I use it all the time.

But in the bigger picture, the arc is bending in one direction: Apps will be replaced soonish. We don’t exactly know what by, but we know they will be replaced.

Partly because everything is replaced, but look for example at the number of apps downloaded by 2/3rds of U.S. smartphone users per month: 0.

Look again … big round number, which is unfortunately zero.

The only apps breaking through at this point (with rare exception) are the apps belonging to businesses for whom the app is an extension of that business, not just an app. Today, for many strong businesses, the app is the best version of that business, but it’s only a version of it.

A business is a business, and that can last forever, but an app is just a piece of software, destined to go into the trash. Or recycle bin, if you’d like.

app2At Goldstar, we’re good at apps (on both platforms), but we’re also good at websites. We’ve evolved ours for nearly 15 years during massive upheavals in technology, society and the economy and it’s the best it’s ever been: easier to use, more functionality and closer to what people need. And it will be better tomorrow. We’re also good at email and pioneered targeted promotions for live entertainment (and everything else, for that matter) years before anyone else. We were the first e-commerce company to send responsive emails. Email is less important to us now than it was in the 2000s, but it’s still important, and we’re still good at it.

So perhaps I shouldn’t say apps are headed for the trash. They have, however, started their initial descent.

A company’s mission can be expressed through any means, and it’s up to the company to do so using the tools that customers want in any given time. That’s a core skill here at Goldstar.

In the future, it might be chat-based apps (very much a thing of the near future) or embedded apps. It may be a bucket of green goo you stick your hand into to connect to the internet.

Or we may have to build for the web, email, mobile web, iOS, Android, chat-bots, html AND the goo bucket all at the same time. Eight platforms instead of the five we build for now.

If so, fair enough. Game on.

The mission of helping ignite people’s love for live entertainment, feeding that good habit means that we’ll go where the people go and give them the tools they want to use.

Apps are dead. Long live the app.

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