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There is a thesis brewing in Blockchain Tech and it runs something like this:

“Blockchain is like the new Internet. Forget the actual applications running on this new Internet, let’s focus on the plumbing. Let’s hire 10 PhDs and build the super-scalable, fault-tolerant, mesh-based graph-theoretical infrastructure layer that runs 100,000 transactions per second, and supports 15 languages from web assembly to C++.”

A normal person might ask, why?

Are there credible applications being currently built on top of Ethereum that need this level of performance? Are there an entirely new class of apps that we simply cannot contemplate that will flourish in this environment?

Maybe.

All I can say, is that when Apple rolled out OSX, it rolled it out with Adobe Photosohop and Microsoft Office as two key apps. When it rolled out the iPhone, there was ebay, games, amazon and soon afterwords, uber.

Focusing solely on the plumbing without thinking of the end user applications is disturbing. In the past it has led to investing in losers. One example that comes to mind is Inktomi — backed by a brilliant team of PhDs but soon put out of business by Google. Google was actually useful. Inktomi *looked* useful. In reality it wasn’t much better than excite or any other search engine.

I submit that the winner in the infrastructure wars will not the be company with the most PhDs, it will be the company that ends up recruiting the actual end-user app developers.

Adobe Pagemaker made the mac.
Office made windows.
Google and Amazon made the web.
Uber, Spotify and Facebook made the iPhone.

Protocols without apps makes zero sense. HashGraph may be great, but without an app store, it’s not something I as a consumer will ever interact with. Eos may win the decentralized governance hall of fame, but with very few shipped apps at its launch, it’s more of a curiosity than something that will have end-user adoption.

I do buy the argument that a better infrastructure is needed for real apps to grow. But I also think these platform vendors need to really think through the end use all the way to the end-user.

- wallets need to be tightly and securely integrated (eg: iTunes)
- new apps need to be able to be bought in a marketplace (app Store)
- ICOs built on top of these exchanges need their own exchanges
- there needs to be well documented APIs, dev tools etc. Not just “here’s a testnet”

Think Apple.

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