The cherry on top

Last week we ran a series of blogs about what the OSS of the future is going to look like. It’s going to be simple, not cluttered. It’s going to provide answers, not just reams of information. It’s going to allow operators to throw questions at it, in natural speech. It may even provide you with answers to questions you hadn’t even thought to ask it.

But one of the keys to the OSS of the future is that we can’t assume that we have all the insights baked into it. We can’t assume that we’re the supreme being that knows all the questions and all of the answers. The trick to the OSS UI of the future is to provide the platform that allows innovation to be placed on top by all the clever users of our systems.

I don’t want to see an arms race of functionality, where vendors aim to develop just a few more built-in functions than their competitors. Chances are that I’ll never get to use a majority of them anyway, so why waste development time on the miniscule number of users who will.

Instead of the incremental, give me the quantum leap, the vastly more challenging task of building a platform that allows innovation to grow on top of it, to grow from the masses. In a nutshell, that means access to data and the tools to manipulate it in any way the user can dream up.

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