Apps and platforms are popping up all over, from new financial transaction player Bitcoin to personalized news services like Ozy and News360 and food delivery services too many to name. Reminds me of the mid to late 90s when Paypal emerged as a payment platform for all things on the Internet; when Food.com and SandwichDirect.com promised hot lunch deliveries within an hour; and SFGate.com, started by reporters on strike against management at the San Francisco Chronicle, first made fresh news available 24/7.
What's different is the technology -- both the software used to develop apps and the hardware, mostly mobile, for running apps -- but the intent is the same: offering the immediate and personalized fulfillment of desire, whether it's for food, news, shopping, entertainment, sharing, learning, and love and/or sex.
Some would argue that the technological advances in the past 14 years have changed human nature. I would argue that these advances -- particularly the widespread use of search engines -- have merely extended our opportunities to explore, the way the discovery of the world in the 15th and 16th centuries opened up people to new markets and cultures. People still fight, love, shop, learn, and perform creative acts of kindness the way they did in Shakespeare's day.
That's why I find the notion of the singularity not only far fetched but also insupportable. Even though our technologies are advancing at a faster rate than ever, they still serve the basic needs and desires of human beings. Which is why the new crop of apps and platforms seem all so deja vu.