There is a word independent app developers should start getting familiar with, conglomerate.
Yesterday’s announcement that Facebook was purchasing WhatsApp provides a delightfully focused confirmation of an observation I’ve been developing recently.
The mobile market has matured out of its wild growth phase and is now entering its consolidation phase.
This cycle of rapid growth followed by consolidation can be seen across countless industries. I think of examples like banking, cable, media and food. It is the natural consequence of how business works. As an industry matures out of a period of innovation and growth, the logical next step is to move towards consolidation. I expect we’ll see more and more of this over the coming year.
It is too early for me to predict how my own apps and business will get caught up in this. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if the pressures of remaining a small, independent fish in this Big Fish Pond became untenable or undesirable at some point.
Should be an interesting year.