App Constellations

I touched on the concept of App Constellations in my post on Friday about Swarm. I’ve been thinking about this concept for the past week and I think its an important development in the world of non-game native mobile applications.

If you made a list of all the non-game mobile apps that have more than 10mm MAUs, it would be a pretty short list. It probably would not look much different than the top 100 or 150 free apps in the iOS and Android app stores without all the games. In a leaderboard driven world, the big get bigger and everyone else goes home. We’ve discussed this phenomenon many times on AVC, most recently here.

Early last week my colleague Brian showed me the home screen of his iPhone.

brian's iphone

He pointed out to me that he had three Dropbox apps on his home screen – Dropbox, Mailbox, and Loom. He said he could imagine a world in which his entire home screen was populated by apps from a few of the top companies.

So that got me thinking. Not only do we have a rich get richer dynamic in mobile apps, but we also are witnessing a maturing market consolidating. The big mobile app companies, Google, Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter, Yahoo!, and most recently, if you believe the rumors, Apple, are acquiring the leading mobile apps, further concentrating the list of companies that have apps on the leaderboards and apps on our home screens.

But if that was not enough, two additional trends are worth noting in these emerging app constellations. Many of these app constellations offer a single login across all of their apps and if you are logged into one of their apps on your phone, you are logged into all of their apps on your phone. This is particularly helpful when downloading a new app that is part of a larger constellation. It is also helpful for CRM and ad targeting.

And we are seeing increased use of deep linking app to app among the apps in the same constellation. It is increasingly possible to do deep linking app to app between apps that are not part of a single constellation. Facebook and Twitter are making it easier for third party developers to take advantage of deep links in their apps to do this. But when you control a constellation of apps, it is much easier to make deep linking from app to app a standard across all of your apps. This is a very big deal because it creates a web like experience on mobile and the fluidity of that experience is very engaging, further drawing users in.

These app constellations are possibly the only sustainable answer to solving the distribution conundrum in mobile – how do I get around the app store leaderboard traffic jam? If you own a leading constellation, you can use your apps and your relationship with the users of those apps to promote and distribute new apps that you either build or buy. This promotion is “in situ” right on the mobile phone where the consumer’s attention is increasingly placed. I see this as yet another “rich get richer” dynamic in the mobile ecosystem.

It is interesting to contrast all of this to what happened in the last downloadable software phase in tech – PCs and PC Software. In that world, Microsoft’s Windows OS became totally dominant and led to a dominant application monopoly (Outlook, Excel, Word, Powerpoint, etc). In native mobile, we have a duopoly with iOS and Android and what looks like at least six App Constellations (Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, Dropbox). There may be some other important constellations emerging. I would love some suggestions of other ones in the comments (Foursquare?).

Here’s my home screen. Other than my total and complete capitulation to Google, my phone isn’t yet a collection of app constellations – other than the USV constellation 🙂

But I think it is likely headed there along with all of your phones.

fred's home screen

#mobile#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. John Gibson

    I would add Microsoft to your list of app constellations. I wouldn’t be surprised if iOS or android users who work in a company using the Microsoft stack had multiple MSFT apps on their home screens.

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t know about that. Other than Skype, I don’t see any Microsoft apps in the top 200 in either iOS or Android app stores. do these apps get on phones some other way?

      1. John Gibson

        I’m not sure if getting an app pushed to a device by a MDM solution is counted on app stores or not. And while it’s an extremely small sample size (less than 1200 iOS devices) at the company I’m doing some work for they’ve officially started actively supporting iOS. Since that time I’ve started to see a lot more sharing from OneDrive (prev it was Dropbox) and OneNote and have noticed that for many OneNote, OneDrive, Lync and Office are making it to users home screens. I think it stems from reduced friction for avg users.

      2. Aaron Klein

        Word and Excel are there on iOS. OneNote and OneDrive are trying.Not sure if it will work, but it’s interesting.

      3. SubstrateUndertow

        Is that due to the fact that Apps are presently largely a consumer affair?Maybe that will redistribute as enterprises continue to expand employee access to their enterprise databases?

  2. William Mougayar

    If you forget the brands behind these Apps for a minute, and think about the “functions” that a smartphone helps us with, then the list is this, and one could assume there might constellations of winners around each one of them:Instant MessagingPhotos/CameraChecking into placesChecking placesNewsWeatherMaps/DirectionsAlarmsBanking/FinanceTransportationCalendarMusicCommunications/EmailSharing stuffBrowsing the InternetBrowsing/Engaging in socialGamesDocuments Entertainment (youtube, videos, live stuff)Buying stuffReadingStocks/MarketsContactsHealth/WellnessEducationEvery time a new App comes along, one has to think if it will fit within our habits or create new habits, or displace an existing habit.The battle for your screen is equivalent to a battle for your mind. The mind is already crowded with ideas and beliefs. To get in, you need to find a new empty place, or displace an existing idea.

    1. Elie Seidman

      Add reading to that list – Kindle and Pocket for me

      1. William Mougayar


          1. William Mougayar

            that’s reading, no?

          2. Aviah Laor

            Actually yes. I forgot that non tech reading is also reading.

    2. fredwilson

      good list

    3. mike choas

      Wearable tech and everything internet are the next “BIG” things. Smart watches have redefined they way we do ordinary things. This a best opportunity for entrepreneurs and tech-start ups to capitalize because of its bright future

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Serious computer research labs have been working on ‘wearable’ computing for 20+ years. Maybe in another 20+ years we’ll have something “BIG”? I know; I know; ‘wearables’ as a BIG things are just one year away, have been, and maybe long will be.Just because we can doesn’t always mean we should: Wearables look like a solution still looking for a problem.There’s a current ‘Wired’ piece that explains how cheap smartphones will increase the number of smartphone users from ballpark 1 billion to maybe 5 billion. ‘Ats a lot’s a growtha. So, they’ll get phones. So, what the heck will they do with them? “The video on the phone I stuck to the tree next to the lake last night this morning sent me pictures of a wildebeest at the lake at dawn; get out the rifle! Tomorrow, for dinner, BBQed wildebeest!” Or maybe just what the US and EU have done with phones for 100+ years.Let me see and try to remember: Are we supposed to start with the solution and then look for the problem or is it the other way around? Right, NOW I ‘get it’: We want to sell a BBQ Wildebeest app! Gee, why’d it take me so long to see this! Or, one better, it’s a Wildebeest by the lake video monitoring, detection, and notification app with ‘deep linking’ to a Wildebeest BBQ recipe app! There should also be ‘deep linking’ with the computer aimed rifle app and the invite all the neighbors to the BBQ app!

      2. William Mougayar

        right, and the smartphone are becoming better sensing devices.

    4. JLM

      .Well played.At the end of the day, these are “functions” and this is a functional organization which makes perfect sense. If you think of a particular app it may fit into one or more functions for different individuals.The web is like physical real estate sort of like a shopping center which is attractive as a destination because of its mix of shops.JLM.

      1. William Mougayar

        yes. great way of putting it. the web is an extension, a juxtaposition, and overlay of our lives.



      3. Ashwin Ramasamy

        Extending the physical store analogy, when I am in the grocery store, I can take my cart (phone) to any aisle and take things from craft sections and then from the frozen food section (think various apps) and put them all in the same shopping cart. I can see what else is there, thanks to elegant organization and sign boards (deep linking). No where am I prohibited from because my shopping cart is incompatible with what I am shopping for (android vs. iOS).To me the idea of deep linking is still limited within a platform and seems like a hack that is solving the problem that the walled gardens have created.App constellations would be much more powerful if they become app mashes than individual apps that are hacked to talk to each other within very limited sense, as deemed fit by the constellation masters.

    5. ShanaC

      The Checking Into Places is the complicated one – I don’t know the percetage of people who take pictures versus check into places

      1. William Mougayar

        You’re thinking Instagrammers vs. Foursquarers. I agree not all users do that. It appears that more people like to snap pictures and post them than declaring they are checking into places.

    6. Drew Ryder

      Notice no apps relating to food choices or personal health. Isn’t this a significant potential growth area for apps, particularly with the IoT bringing us a wealth of data through wearable devices?

      1. William Mougayar

        true. that should be on the list.

      2. awaldstein

        Wellness as an umbrella–a $2T consumer one btw–is just getting its head above the fray. This is the consumer market that doesn’t even touch insurance and the established medical community.App wise a complete wasteland but community wise, very strongly interlaced.

      3. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Hmmm – Eating and staying alive – Essential and thus redundant via the internet. An app for “air you can breathe” would be equally uselessHowever by the same argument an app for location of nearest automatic cardio resuscitation device would be brilliant – Hackathon anyone ???

    7. sigmaalgebra

      Nice list, but I mostly wouldn’t like the approach: When I spend time at my computer, I want to make progress in various directions and that usually means that I keep some of the data I found, created, entered, etc. I have about 40 GB of such data, quite nicely organized in part with some ‘apps’ of my own. As best as I can tell, the list you gave would not let me effectively do the ‘keeping’ and ‘organizing’. So, I would conclude I’d gotten some value on the screens but, then, lost that value — big bummer especially since I just HATE to lose things.Of course, maybe I’m saying I want a new and different ‘app’, but I already have a project, and for smartphone users all they need is just a screen that can display 800 pixels wide and a Web browser up to date as of about five years ago — also my fonts are all large and mostly quite bold and, thus, easy to read. That is, my project is already aimed in part at smartphones.That for Web applications the client needs just a Web browser instead of various apps, with possibly different UIs, I believe should be seen as a big point. That is, I still like ‘thin clients’ and ‘fat servers’.

    8. SubstrateUndertow

      Aren’t these rising App-constellations just the latest reincarnation of proprietary back-end database/file system leg-hold traps?Is that really what the future of organic synchronously-recombinant human resources is about, being reduced to proprietary DataSilo oligarchies.The 19th century was all about the emergence of standardized recombinant components and now in the 21 century we are content to reverse that progress within our abstracted internet-frontier of DataObject components?When I view or edit a jpeg-data-object I don’t want to be held captive to anyone particular App/processing-object. Why should we settle for anything less in the internet world of reusable everything.It all seems like a huge information-age cup-de-sac destined to waste decades of organic-social-computing progress in the name of defending a die-hard 19th century business model.The oligarchic politics of commerce has universally limited the pace of social/technical progress through out human history. That fact was probably, rooted in necessity, rooted in the reality that we simply did not have the technical or organizational tools to transcend those limited organizational dynamics.Finally we do now have the technical and organic social/governance tools required to transcend those limited oligarchic organizational dynamics.Now it is simply just a “race between oligarchic-disaster and education”- H G WellsOr do we really expect our new world of organically-recombinant abstracted-data-objects to be effectively reusable while continuing to sitting atop its present proprietary Data-Silo foundations?

      1. Ric

        I cant underline your comment more William. I for one have hated Apple for its walled garden approach and I am now thinking hard on how to best DE-centralize my mobile experience because no one understands that display ads are DEAD and I am tired of the creep factor of providers targeting me when I will never ever buy anything from their advertisers!Annoy me enough and I will seek out competitors and uninstall your shit!

    9. reece

      what about education (Duolingo as an example)

      1. William Mougayar

        yes. good category. thx

    10. David Bressler

      Nice list, though I’d make “banking” instead read “personal finance”.I’m sure you mean that health/wellness includes medical insurance… but if you’re trying to think about who could “champion” a constellation, it would be nice if the health insurance companies did and I don’t think health/wellness as a title indicates that. I guess I’m thinking out-loud, but it would be nice if some of the big-established-legacy companies would think about your list and understand how they could add value, rather than just strong-arm trapped customers (I’m thinking of the cable companies as I write this).David

      1. William Mougayar

        yes, health would include insurance. you really want the insurance company to “run” your health apps?i updated to banking/finance



      1. William Mougayar

        exactly, and to make sure the prospects know and hear about that.

    12. Minter Dial

      Got the mind going as I had to relook at the way I go about organizing. Plenty of fine-tuning to do and have enjoyed the comment stream. Question: where do the social networks go – Browsing/engaging in social?I have a few other categories that I might throw into the fray: EVENTS (eg Eventbrite, Adobe Summit, Gotomeeting…). TOOLS (MeasureTools, LINE Tools, Flashlight…). This may sound incriminating, but what about DRINKING (Drync, Vivino, Breathometer, BarChick). for women, I think that BEAUTY could be a standalone (versus health/wellness). I put Weather into TRAVEL (shorter and broader than TRANSPORTATION since it really only amounts to one or two apps in general. Maybe because I hope that there will be more of it in the business world, CREATIVITY (Drawing, Mindmapping, Random#, Creative Genie…). Finally, I thought I’d avow that I have a whole number of apps that are specific to BUSINESS (with whom I tend to deal) and can’t really put them into a category yet, mostly because I don’t think they serve a proper function (indictment!).One comment: the titles ought to be reduced to be less than 14 characters to be readable on the screen.BTW, the reason I dug into this post was the Dropbox “constellation.” Faschinating to see the vibrant app eco-system around DB. Meanwhile, I could not find the LOOM app to which you refer in the app store?

  3. jprs889

    Day One isn’t Dropbox but supports cloud synching making it feel like part of that extended constellation.

    1. fredwilson


  4. Francois Mathieu

    If Foursquare came up with a photo app, they’d become a real contenter to Facebook on mobile. They already have better geotagging since Instagram turned to Facebook’s places. They could easily go with a third party like Twitter did, since it’s not their core focus. What else is missing? Messaging for non location related conversations. Now you got an amazing constellation.

    1. William Mougayar

      or they could have a tab called “Photos” that strips out all the photos you have submitted already, and you could re-share them more wildly or something like that.

      1. pointsnfigures

        What we need to do is have search within photo apps. Can never find a photo when I want it.

        1. William Mougayar

          yep. photos organizations are a mess for me.

          1. awaldstein

            ain’t happening any time seach appears to be where speech recognition was 6+ years ago. a black box.

        2. T. K. Running

          I’m uploading all my old photos to Google+ Photos now, and although not perfect the photo search there is getting somewhere. Searches for stuff like bridge or tiger works really well, and location/dates is obviously even more accurate (at least when geotagged).

    2. awaldstein

      I think this is a hill not worth charging with dubious results.Instagram is a near perfect product. Perfect because it builds networks as effortlessly as it lets you post cross all of your channels.To challenge Instagram at its own game is not where the win is in my opinion.

      1. fredwilson

        this is where constellations could change things. you may be right that alone foursquare cannot do this. but what if it were part of a larger constellation?

        1. awaldstein

          Potentially Fred.i really like this idea of constellation from the product side as I’m a true practitioner of ‘constellation’ as community on the market and distribution side as well.My point, poorly stated and off the cuff, I’ll admit, is that the core behavioral impetus to post and share is not going to offset by the value of the tagging data no matter how much better that data is.(btw–cool that me down river from you, was also watching the skydivers. Impressive if not a bit brisk waiting for it to happen.)

          1. fredwilson

            i was on a citibike doing a leisurely morning ride along the hudson

    3. T. K. Running

      I already use Path as many people use Instagram, and that usually includes checking into foursquare with a photo and short comment.

  5. Chris Chaten

    The method Android uses to share between apps is much more conducive to this trend. The sharing of information between apps is virtually unrestricted and seamless, whereas iOS developers have to. actively consider the separate app. Photo editing is a good example.Your home screen examples are problematic for the way foursquare is going about it. They’re siphoning core features into two applications that require engagement. The more intuitive path is to maintain a hub app, with things like swarm as add on that pull from the hub.Think how Google Drive (hub) interacts with Sheets, Docs etc (optional spokes). You can have just Drive on the home page, but sheets opens whenever you start to edit a spreadsheet. This is a more extensible model. It’s not limited to screen real estate, and doesn’t require the user to think about which app to open.

    1. obarthelemy

      Actually, Android is much more flexible: any app can register for any “intent” (for example, the “share” button, or opening URL, or sending texts…). You’re less locked-in with Android’s generic, OS-level intents. iOS requires each app to support specific other apps, iOS has no such thing as a generic “intent” system. App constellations occur either because one company has best-of-class in several categories, or because antiquated OSes such as iOS don’t support intents and kinda force you to get stuck in one constellation.

      1. Chris Chaten

        yep, exactly

    2. fredwilson

      i think notifications are the home screen, at least that’s how i use Android

  6. obarthelemy

    My main take is.. iOS needs widgets. These home screens look 2002.

  7. kirklove

    Not sure I’m buying into this concept just yet… and it’s def cyclical (in 5 years people will pine for one app to do everything). Currently I don’t like having to jump back and forth from say Swarm to Foursquare. It’s jarring and not implemented very well (yeah, I know they’ve got work to do). Still it doesn’t “click” in my brain. Perhaps I’m in the minority.PS: Here’s the app link service I couldn’t remember: now that I dig.

    1. William Mougayar

      Interesting, App Links is an SDK. Actually, that’s another trend in Mobile Apps: putting SDK’s in them to make them do stuff.

    2. fredwilson

      you are right that what goes around comes around. it sure looks like we went from downloadable software on PCs, to the browser, and now back to downloadable software on phones. it makes me wonder if the next phase will be a “browser like” model on phones

      1. Josh Petersel

        XKCD beat you to that last week, Fred =)

        1. fredwilson

          is there an XKCD app? 🙂

      2. stevanpopo

        The idea of a constellation is definitely growing but it is also a limitation of current mobile tech. When mobile browsers can access the camera, gps etc. as easily as native mobile apps I think the next phase will be more browser like as you said

      3. Aaron Klein

        There are different use cases that favor mobile web over apps. Case in point: our investment advisors send clients the risk questionnaire and clients can tap the link in the email and answer on mobile web in what feels like a native app.Nobody would install a native app just to do that…

      4. Nikhil Srinivasan

        if mobile apps move back from native to web-based, we’ll likely see an implementation divergent from the existing web browsing paradigmcards, from an interface and experience perspective, seem relevant to the future of mobile, web-based applications (see

  8. Tom Deierlein

    Imteresting. One caveat. Just don’t confuse the apps and constellations of digital media and saavy professionals with avg user. Consolidation will take place in the big apps 10M+ but there will always be a long tail and profitable ways to monetize not unlike TV, online.

  9. jason wright

    constellations of today is the bundles of yesterday?is that a correct comparison, and the same dynamic developing, just with a different name?

    1. fredwilson

      i just like the astronomy visualization

      1. Matt A. Myers

        This has been my laptop background for a few weeks now – attached.

        1. fredwilson


  10. William Mougayar

    Hey Brian @bwats – how do you like Day One? Do you use it daily? What other functions does it replace?I’ve never spent more than $1.99 on any given app that I remember. This one is $4.99. I wished they had a “try before you buy” on App stores, where you pay if you keep it after 5 days. So many apps are downloaded, trialed, but not used.

    1. brianwats

      Love it so so much. I use it a bit more with the Mac app to journal when I’m thinking about something life-related. It’s so well designed and is a great general text editor for notes.

      1. William Mougayar

        thanks. does it sync between mac and iphone? it sounds a bit like evernote, no?

  11. angoodkind

    The Weather Channel?? Come on, Fred! They’re like the Fox News of weather forecasting. If you want to know what the weather is actually going to be, try Weather Underground. 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, i am a luddite when it comes to weather. i plead guilty as charged

    2. kenberger

      is WU much better, have you researched/tested it well? I agree that TWC and Y! are generally disappointing, always looking for a better alt.

      1. Drew Ryder

        We work in farming where weather prediction is everything. Can get better with more real-time data points, which we are working on. But still very difficult to get very accurate more than 10 days out. Too many variables to create accurate statistical models.

        1. kenberger

          so what apps and sites do you feel are best? or are you saying you can’t use anything existing?

          1. Drew Ryder

            DTN has a good weather platform targeted at farming. But it still relies on NWS weather station data. Real opportunity is connecting thousands of private weather stations over a wider geographic area via a single telemetry platform (which we are developing) and then develop data analytics which allows a farmer to get more localized weather forecasting so that he/she can make more informed business decisions. Guessing wrong on a rain forecast can cost a large farmer millions of $$$. Also very important to their lenders (banks) and insurance companies that deal in weather risk.

          2. pointsnfigures

            DTN isn’t exactly cheap either.

      2. angoodkind

        Yes. I lived with some meteorology PhD students for a few years. The Weather Channel makes money by getting viewers — thus, they take the most extreme predictions.

        1. kenberger

          how about Weather Bug? I’m guessing that their results are as bad as WC (maybe they use WC’s data?) But their suite of apps are great.

          1. angoodkind

            No idea. Sorry.

  12. JimHirshfield

    The constellation model sounds a lot like the operating system model in that I have more apps made by Google on my phone than any other developer because they make the OS on my phone. Obvious, yes. But it points out that platform control is (was?) a land grab. Control the “space”, and you control the constellations.

    1. fredwilson

      right. that’s why i talked about mobile vs PC. i think we are in a much better place because we have a duopoly and developers must run on both platforms. that simple dynamic gives non OS developers a shot. we could have at least six app constellations in mobile vs one on PC

      1. JimHirshfield

        I found this relevant as well… and yes, it’s something that’s been debated on AVC many times…… .

      2. Pete Griffiths

        I don’t think constellations were anything like as important on PC.

      3. ShanaC

        do you think the hope for native has disappeared in the short term?

      4. SubstrateUndertow

        So proprietary-OS App constellations have now been replaced by backend proprietary-DataSilo App constellations.This shifts more power to developers?What next?Non-proprietary open-public-utility backend DataSilos that shift more recombinant processing power towards enduser?

  13. Richard
    1. William Mougayar

      blank comment- you want me to delete it?

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        my first chance to up vote a blank comment – thanks 🙂

        1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

          Personally its the first time I did down voting (and as a Brit it still felt a little insensitive) !

  14. howardlindzon

    no stock or market apps…hmmm

    1. William Mougayar

      Show us your home screen Howard.

      1. howardlindzon

        i have no organization or reasoning to mine. Its a scatter job. My job is mostly desktop still in Markets and Finance for whatever reasons ….there are still many

    2. Matt A. Myers

      I think it’s safe to say Fred invests in himself and probably has a better understanding of their value and potential future value than the public markets. 🙂

      1. howardlindzon

        I meant for context, mood, everyone should have a markets app and especially stocktwits because of sentiment, trending…etc

        1. fredwilson

          i like things like reddit, hacker news,, techmeme for mood and sentiment

          1. Matt A. Myers

            If you’re looking for and playing the long-game then those are examples of exactly where you’ll find actionable data, not by using historical or trend analysis on sentiment – that is quantity vs. quality review, unnuanced vs. nuanced information. Else you’re in the follow-game.

          2. howardlindzon

            the follow game is a great game (my game) if you follow the right people.

          3. Matt A. Myers

            I don’t doubt that, just was stating why Fred likely doesn’t have it as a main app. Secretly Fred could have all of USV’s portfolio competitors just on the side screens – maybe stock market apps in there too!Whenever I played Fantasy Stock games in highschool everyone would copy me, because I just put money into stocks for things that I personally found beneficial and that most people hadn’t adopted yet who would also love or find value from it – one of those stock picks being related to when highspeed cable internet was just starting to emerge; That stock pick went up 400% in 8 month period. :)There’s definitely money to be made in the stock market, and if I had the money I would have put money into Google IPO, Tesla’s, etc.. though investing in myself should turn out to be more profitable in the end. But we’ll have to see.

          4. howardlindzon

            for tech no doubt i use them too

    3. fredwilson

      i don’t invest in the stock market. i don’t trust it.

      1. howardlindzon

        still matters whats happening at a glance as a weapon in your arsenal.

        1. pointsnfigures

          stock market is an automatic dipstick to gauge worldwide sentiment. Not always right. There is no good app for futures prices other than CME’s.

          1. Drew Ryder

            We are developing apps using both physical and virtual sensors to monitor what is occurring in the food supply chain and with weather to better gauge future supply and future pricing.

          2. pointsnfigures

            interesting. which part of the supply chain, and what areas? sensors along supply chain for meat production? how will it be different or more accurate than published govt reports?

          3. Drew Ryder

            We are involved in both livestock production and crop production. Have developed a telemetry platform which allows us to connect to a network of existing sensors and have developed/are developing new sensors to collect data previously not accessible for cost/practicality reasons. Also developing apps (virtual sensors) which allow us to collect data from the field which still needs to be entered manually by farmers. Published govt reports (mostly USDA) are inaccurate because of their surveying methods (only a small percentage of farmers are surveyed and their responses aren’t always truthful), but more importantly, they are not fast or frequent enough. CME and other trading markets rely on their reports for knowledge because that’s the best that is out there. This is an area where there is a lot of dollars at stake and is ripe for disruption. We’re on the bleeding edge of it.

          4. pointsnfigures

            sounds cool. i know of and some vet apps that allow for remote monitoring of cattle herds, but I haven’t seen anyone take remote ag data from the field and create actual information that is useful for trading. In the old days, Basse&Assoc used to come up with better crop info than the USDA and sell it for a good buck. Good democratic data would allow more people to participate and go head to head against the HFTs. you ought to base this in chicago.

          5. Drew Ryder

            Thanks – good feedback. Would like to pick your brain more off-line. Send me direct message on Twitter – @drewryder

  15. Richard

    Fred, your 2012 collection.

    1. fredwilson

      not a ton of change. every one that was on there then is still on there now.

      1. kenberger

        …ton of change to the background of the wallpaper photo though– the entire Whitney Museum is there now!

  16. tobias peggs

    Could not agree more. If you’ve got one big app… that’s the easiest distribution channel for your next app… and so on. As usual, the Asian social mobile giants lead the way here. Line, Kakao, etc, etc. Just look at the Kakao home page – it’s basically saying “you only need the kakao constellation. go install ’em all now!” Somewhat related: I thought this was what Yahoo would do quickly w/ Marissa’s “mobile/daily habits” strategy… but they seem a long way off executing that vision right now.

    1. fredwilson

      great point about asia leading the way

      1. OurielOhayon

        except they can t replicate this strategy out of asia…works there because the habits of “adoption” are very different….

    2. ShanaC

      i think she has to do a turn around job before she can execute strategy

      1. sigmaalgebra

        For the first time in months, I went to Yahoo last night. I concluded that someone, maybe Marissa, has turned Yahoo into a cross between a grocery store checkout line tabloid and a Hollywood celebrity gossip rag – – no joke.

        1. Twain Twain

          Michael Arrington’s fireside chat with Marissa Mayer:*…I’ve watched her being interviewed live once (Le Web, Paris when she was still at Google).Sean Parker was also at that LeWeb.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            I understand that she has a problem with her voice, but that does make her difficult to listen to.I got far enough to hear her say she wants Yahoo to be “a daily habit”.Also she listed many things she is doing at, and has in mind for, Yahoo, and I’ve long known that Yahoo has some of the best financial data, but when I visited yesterday I just looked at what I saw on their ‘front page’, and it was the tabloid-gossip stuff I mentioned.

  17. Rick_Robinson

    These constellations are like little walled gardens within walled gardens. It’s a good tactic perhaps but consumers will want to roam freely among apps. This calls for a sort of consolidation not constellation: http://www.huffingtonpost.c

  18. aminTorres

    Honestly, I buy into the concept, I struggle with the term: “constellation”. something about it doesn’t quite feel right.Are adobe’s products a constellation of desktop apps that individually latter up to creativity?Are Office apps a constellation? Or are they not simply because they are not mobile-first?- is that not a suite?Also, is what foursquare just did a constellation of just two apps? is two apps enough?Or is the single single sign-in what makes apps into a constellation?I am dizzy already.

    1. fredwilson

      i do not think two is enough

      1. Jay Bregman

        Excellent discussion Fred et al. I think an “app circle” or “app family” is a better term… I would reccomend everyone read Sam Shank’s (HotelTonight) paper on 2014 as the Year of Context […].Location-sensitive / city-based apps have a significant potential to partner and share – probably using either a PSP or a trusted key authority like Twilio (verified numbers are requirements for most LBS nowadays) information about their customers in a way that does not allow either app to know any more about the customer than it already knows, but does allow the TTP (or Fred if you want to go further think of a distributed PSP using BTC) to answer questions that will allow context-sensitive offers that feel more like content to the end user.One tap secure transfer of registration information, payment information (e.g. Venmo Touch) enables each other’s customers to get a service they need when they need it. Think of a user who tries to get a Hailo in a city not yet enabled for cabs, but active for a partner who provides ancillary serivces like hotels. Providing a killer deal “because you are a Hailo VIP” is an unbeatable FTUE…and will be the the future of distribution in my view….

  19. Dave

    Interesting but I’m curious how the trend of breaking out functionality into separate apps that used to be combined goes. For me I find it irritating. I’d prefer fewer more useful apps. For one example, Google drive was more useful to me when I could get to my docs and worksheets from one app. Now I have three apps with no additional utility. Feeling more Microsoft like and that isn’t a good thing.

  20. Sam

    Interesting idea.I’d add Amazon to the list of constellation providers as well. (Kindle, Music,, Audible, Instant Video on iOS [please, please add on Android kind Amazon friends!], App store on Android, and probably a few other I am forgetting.) I believe they added single logon recently too.

    1. fredwilson

      i have been thinking about Amazon in this context. i have Kindle and Amazon store on my phone. i think you are right, but they are really stuck in the file model on their video and audio stuff. in video, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, even Vine are the right model. in music SoundCloud, Spotify, Pandora are the right model. i think Amazon really missed the streaming thing and is now playing catch up

  21. Mike Fraietta

    Google is really the strongest constellation on my home screen with Google, Hangouts (my company meetings) and Maps. Google does seam to have most seamless sign in process (still arduous from 3rd party browsing apps like Zite and Reddit) although FB and Twitter are preferred “social” identities.

  22. Arnon Mishkin

    Important analysis — you’re saying that the App market is evolving much like the desktop market (MS vs. Lotus vs. WP), and before that cable TV, magazines — and I’d even add consumer goods (P&G, Colgate) — in each case distribution was the choke point (in the case of Apps, it’s the homescreen, in cable TV, the set-top box (which channels do you favorite), store shelvers (in the case of P&G/Colgate/Coke). The challenge is how do you get your button on the top screen — and how do you use your first button, to get folks to put on a few related ones.

  23. Kerry Gallivan

    From a small developer perspective in the travel space, we have taken the app constellation approach from the very start (4 years ago). We focus on the national park experience ( and always believed that building very deep, hyper-local destination app for individual national parks (I.e Yellowstone), vs. an “all in one” approach, provided a better user experience. We have one app which has very light content but links all the destinations app/parks together. Our users bounce in and out of our destinations app (Grand Canyon, Zion. Bryce, etc) but fall back to our main app to track their visits/experience.It refreshing to see you acknowledging this trend because we have been constantly challenged on the VC/Angel front regarding this model. We may not be a one of the huge constellations, but if you’re going to a national park, we’re certainly the brightest. 🙂

    1. ShanaC

      I’m using you App this summer – going to a national park with my mom and brother

      1. Kerry Gallivan

        Thanks, Shana!

  24. Raj

    Are there any good constellation examples via unbundling vs app acquisitions (where they were standalone brands)?

    1. fredwilson

      twitter and vine

      1. Raj

        Vine was an acq? And didn’t require Twitter login? You could almost use and not know Twitter? I don’t think of it as an unbundling.

        1. fredwilson

          maybe i misunderstood your question

          1. Raj

            I guess I haven’t seen a successful example (where the 2nd app has any meaningful # of DAUs to the first app) where it’s an unbundle (meaning the second app is a cross promoted userbase vs a userbase organically built (eg Vine). Maybe FB Messenger but that’s very heavily cross promoted. I’m sure there are some long tail examples but at meaningful DAUs?

          2. fredwilson

            well Swarm will be a test of thisi am curious if Dropbox has used the ubiquity of its Dropbox app to promote the apps it has been buying

  25. de la Mothe

    I try to organize my constellations by function

    1. de la Mothe

      Here’s my home screen

  26. OurielOhayon

    mmmm. the problem is not of the distribution of leading apps. the problem is about the concept of homescreen. It is a concept that will not last for a simple reason. It is dumb (does not learn, forces me to make it adapt, the same all the time). It is limiting the usage of your phone. Many startups are playing with the idea to make it smarter but they can t get distribution themselves. I have zero doubt Apple and Google will make them evolve dramatically sooner than later and that this evolution will leave room for a better management of the “on average 80 apps your have on your device”. I have also little doubt Voice will intelligently play a better role to access apps that are not immediately on your folder. Specially while on the go (car, walking, running) and there the home screen have zero utility.Finally deep linking is going to be built out within the OS and will become a commodity and common practice. You can already see some of that on Android where sharing pulls all of the option, not just the one iOS pulls by default. That means that deep engineering your app is going to be a lot more important than buying your presence on the home screen. This is something that Apple and Google (not Facebook) will own.Finally i anticipate a much larger role to the mobile web in the next 24 months where some web apps will be as powerful if not better than the native counterpart (not games. although check the web version of 2048…)….That means that access to distribution will be easier and less “controlled”. meaning also native apps will compete with web apps for a share of the home screen…But back to problem #1Over time we re going to use a lot more apps. And 16 apps/24 apps is not going to cut it on a regular basis. Homescreens as we know it today will be a concept of the Did you hear of Folders? i have lots of apps on my homescreen that are not belonging to any of the top players….

    1. fredwilson

      we’ve all been waiting for mobile web to emergethat seems like the next big trend but its not here yet and we’ve been waiting for a while now

      1. OurielOhayon

        sure. i wrote “next 24 months”. the homescreen “management” will evolve by then. will be less dumb…make less room for “constellations” only

      2. JLM

        .Since mobile web is all about real estate, the size of the screen is a big deal.I just got a Samsung Mega (Slab o’ Cheese) and everything that rendered poorly on my earlier phone is now a thing of beauty.Ii was a skeptic before but now I am a zealot.JLM.



  27. pointsnfigures

    Is anyone in USV totally committed to Apple? Might be good for research and due diligence when you guys invest.

    1. fredwilson

      Brian, Zander & Brittany are

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      I am because an Apple a day keeps the doctor away.:-0Oh wait, maybe you didn’t mean the fruit?

  28. Nick Matarese

    Is decoupling apps and creating constellations for a better user experience or for better margins? The trend seems like a short-term answer to the current all-in-one apps model but doesn’t seem like a cohesive solution.

  29. Davealevine

    With the Swarm and Foursquare integration and seamless UX between them, they only seem to be lacking distribution. Maybe another “constellation” should acquire them to bolt this on. Could even be Facebook whose own check-ins attempt doesn’t work. But maybe more likely is a Google who could plug this local/social adjacency right in.

  30. Jonathan Libov

    This also highlights an interesting trend in how companies approach branding the apps they develop and those they acquire. I think consumers have spoken to some degree that they’re reluctant of buying in completely to one platform.There’s a reason that Loom is not called Dropbox Photos and Mailbox is not called Dropbox Mail. It’s at least somewhat telling that Instagram and Whatsapp remain so wholly distinct from the Facebook brand (and it makes one wonder how large a role the brand played in the Facebook Poke and Facebook Camera failures). In the same vein, Twitter left Vine’s branding alone even though they acquired it before it had launched(!). Foursquare chose a (mostly) unrelated name and color scheme for Swarm instead of calling it something like “Foursquare Checkin”. Most people also expect Apple to let the Beats brand stand alone, which would be fairly unprecedented for them.It feels like five or ten years ago, the obvious move would be to attach the parent brand in some way (think “Flickr from Yahoo”). Today it feels like consumers would see right through that and/or reject it. For what it’s worth, “Flickr from Yahoo” recently reverted to just “Flickr”.So on the one hand you have a handful of players aiming to own a few verticals (consolidation) and on the other hand they’re playing it very coyly. An interesting contrast.

    1. fredwilson

      Great points. A constellation can have multiple brands in it

      1. Jonathan Libov

        You could even argue that a constellation consisting of a single brand isn’t sustainable. RIP the folder where I used to keep the Facebook constellation of apps.

  31. John Revay

    Fred – I know Rich already posted your home screen from 2012….Suggestion for an AVC Fun Friday post- can we try another day where every one posts a shot of their home screen. I really enjoyed last tim you did that – It was discover for me.×Rich Weisberger×Rich Weisberger

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, that would be fun to do again

  32. Matt Zagaja

    Here is my home screen. I used to use LinkedIn CardMunch an awful lot but they moved in the reverse direction and that “app” is now subsumed into Evernote, which is a company I believe could take advantage of app constellations. I think they should also purchase TurboScan which is a document scanning application I use an awful lot. The UI looks ugly but the UX is great. I’ve used tons of other scanning apps and it consistently builds the best looking “scans” of documents from my iPhone camera. I usually push them to a Dropbox folder.Here is an app constellation: last night I used Google Maps to get to my friend’s house, then we took Uber (not on home screen) to go downtown to a restaurant I picked out using Foursquare, where I checked in using Swarm and then my friend reminded me we should Instagram our food.The thing that drives me nuts about iOS is how difficult the integration between apps is. 1Password on the Mac is one of my favorite programs and the iOS version is something I use as well but I prefer to browse my websites in Safari and not in the 1Password browser. Logging into a website requires many manual steps of opening 1Password then copying and pasting the code back into Safari or the apps in-app browser (if an app has its own browser setup the cookies don’t carry between them).

    1. Matt Zagaja

      Apparently the upload failed, here you go.EDIT: I guess disqus dislike image uploads. Here is my dropbox link to it:

      1. ShanaC

        there is a delay with images

        1. Matt Zagaja

          Ah, didn’t know that. Now I feel silly.

    2. fredwilson

      that is to some extent the problem the company Vurb that won TechCrunch Disrupt is trying to solve. that’s the company that i told that they were trying to solve an impossible problem

    3. ShanaC

      This problem also appears on android for LastPass – i actually think it is a form factor problem, not the app itself

    4. davidorban

      Re: 1Password on MacYou can install the Safari extension which allows you single click login without any copy and paste in all of your password protected sites.

  33. Austin Clements

    Very cool post Fred. Earlier this morning I wrote about how mobile app ecosystems may want to think about unbundling their experience.

  34. Pete Griffiths

    “… it creates a web like experience on mobile”indeed it does

  35. JLM

    .This is a reflection of your professional investment preference for “platforms”?Isn’t a constellation a platform for apps?JLM.

  36. BlairMacGregor

    It’s similar to the dynamics of the way the web was built in the mid-00s, particularly with content sites. Think blog networks like Gawker, Weblogs, Bleacher Report etc. Similarly, app constellations can use this group dynamic to not only have a single login but to use as leverage w/advertisers for better rates etc.Fred’s 100% correct though that this dynamic is even more pervasive on mobile where screen real estate (both on the handset itself and the limited amount of space in the app store) is at such a premium. As a small web site, you could leverage the long tail of search to find keywords that the big guys weren’t competing for. Not impossible to do in mobile as app store optimization becomes more sophisticated but much much harder to pull off.

  37. Joe Lazarus

    Constellations and cross-promotion is a good strategy for a number of verticals – including games. My company, Backflip Studios, grew by creating casual games like Paper Toss that appeal to a wide audience, then cross-promotion higher yield games like DragonVale. Similar opportunities exist in other verticals large and small as a way to tackle increasingly competitive customer acquisition costs. For example, as a recent first time dad, I was thinking someone could create a nice business with a constellation of simple, well-designed, single purpose apps for new parents: fertility monitor, baby names, contraction timer, nursing tracker, Q&A forum, and whatnot. My wife and I used all these, but most of the apps sucked and finding the next one was always a tedious process. Lots of good businesses could flourish by tackling constellations serving a particular segment of customers.

  38. Brandon G. Donnelly

    On the topic of apps, why can’t I seem to find a good Google Analytics app for iOS?

  39. Ricardo Diz

    Great post.I understand your plug on Foursquare, but I still feel it fails on doing what I would like to: a place to manage/remember my favorite places in my local city or abroad. Evernote does this, but it’s well behind in its places database. Interested to see how this new constellation strategy will work out for Foursquare

  40. Semil Shah

    Constellations may work for the larger players, but it requires a certain size to build up audiences. Most consumers won’t download all these apps unless there’s a key utility or network effect in them. For any new star spawned in a constellation, the mobile distribution bottleneck remains.

    1. reece

      was going to say the same, but figured someone else said it first…constellations do not, in any way, solve the (problem of getting) distribution on mobile…maybe, just maybe, one could argue that a company could launch an MVP app (single-use) as the thin-edge-of-the-wedge to a larger app constellation strategy, but it still requires that first hit on the top 40**that was a reference to “radio,” because as i wrote it, i realized some may think i only meant the top 40 for app stores… sigh

      1. Semil Shah

        Not sure if you saw this (link below)….but wondering maybe I should riff on constellations given the distribution problem – thoughts?

      2. fredwilson

        and i was not suggesting that Reece. i think this is ultimately not good news for startups. it’s part of the increasing “rich get richer” dynamic on mobile

        1. reece

          yeah, you made both points, just seemed that you were saying it does help some (at least that’s what i got in the first sentence of the paragraph that ends with ‘rich get richer’)

  41. Niv Dror

    Today it looks like the future will be a few dominant app constellations. Tomorrow, this is not going to be the case. Everything depends on App Search. Right now it’s like we have to download a webpage – pre Google PageRank – like how Yahoo listing every website on their home page.Quixey – the search engine for apps – is solving that. Raised $75m to date. @liron invented functional search, and as soon as it’s integrated into the OS, people will be able to discover (and with deep linking frictionlessly use) apps that they don’t even know exists. Think of a Spotlight search for beyond what’s on your phone!Discovering new apps should AND WILL be as easy as searching Google, and clicking on the first app link. With have a lot of sensors in our phones… So it will all be done in the background. If you’re hungry, it will recommend food places based on location and place. (i.e. watching TV on the couch vs. ordering food at work). Here is an example of functional search:

  42. John Rhoads

    I agree with this in part but it only applies to apps as a business. I’m optimistic that apps will be like books or blogs one day.We didn’t come to avc because of the internet presence it owns, but because it was worthy of spreading through wom.

  43. William Mougayar

    There’s a good article by Max Ogles, “Can Online Apps Change Real-Life Behavior”…It mentions BJ Fogg’s concept of “captology”–Computers As Persuasive Technology. The gist of Fogg’s model is that for any behavior to occur, three components must be present: motivation, ability, and a trigger.

  44. sigmaalgebra

    “Deep linking” brings up security.A “constellation” with “deep linking” or APIs, which might be ‘closed’, brings up a case of ‘tying”, so far legal or not with also some ‘network effects’.Next a “constellation” which might have some incremental advantages now is now implicitly elevated to a software ‘architecture’ which might be limiting and, thus, superseded by better designed architectures.A “constellation” can involve some subtle and/or involved considerations of design, documentation, and usage which might too often be confusing or lost on users. E.g., recall the old PC stuff of having a document ‘hot linked’ or whatever the gibberish was with a spreadsheet so that whenever the spreadsheet changed the next time the document was ‘formatted’ it also changed. But the design, documentation, and usage were so obscure that commonly people who needed such a feature didn’t make use of it. And there was much more such fumbling with several people working on several spreadsheets for, say, just the quarterly budget — the group work and bringing the spreadsheets together were too clumsy. Using ‘constellations’ as a software architecture promises much more such tripping over loose shoe laces.Somewhere in there, there should be some fairly serious reason, not just a teenage girl social fad (are teenage girls subject to following fads?), to use the constellation, that is, some purpose, hopefully significant, important, etc.

  45. Shanky Shanks

    Dudes I imagine an app on a new phone generation that connects the prices in grocery items, the right world prices… and I imagine a phone that scans the bar code and directs he bills to the bank app.. and just by checking the checklist and pressing ok button its paif… awesome phone!! It’s name should have and epic S!!! BECAUSE THATS MY IDEA AND MY NAME STARTS AND HAVE A LOT OF “S” that would be recognizable im awesome!!! LoL

  46. Perry Ismangil

    Amazon & Evernote.

  47. fares

    are you left handed by any chance?

    1. fredwilson

      Nope. But given how poorly I do at sports, maybe I am and I don’t know it!

  48. paco cornholio

    The CPG practice of brand extension comes to mind – both for the boost it gives to new products, and for the way it squeezes smaller competitors from scarce shelf space.

  49. Lawrence Abeyta

    Glad to see more discussion on this topic. When the average person keeps 40 apps on their phone, it becomes a huge proposition for any company or entity to get real estate on the device, and when you have more than one product, almost impossible. Web apps don’t give the native experience, push targeting, and many other benefits that native OS apps benefit from. We saw this as a major problem for mobile back in 2008 and designed with this in mind (patent) and developed a cross platform mobile publishing that runs native apps and can be delivered on the fly. We apply this to the open data market, which has this problem on a large scale, i.e. thousands of datasets per city. Love this topic.

  50. Eric Marcoullier

    I’ve recently become very frustrated because my capitulation to Google software is at odds with my capitulation to Apple hardware. It is very difficult to standardize on Google Docs on the iOS platform, and so I am essentially being forced to choose which of the to solutions I like less. Not a new story, but it’s frustrating when a few companies dominate the app space.

  51. nikiscevak

    Highly recommend you try HelloSMS as your SMS replacement. Back to your original point around Hangouts, it’s what you would have downloaded if it wasn’t just choosing the most popular 🙂

  52. Conor

    Could this be a future Microsoft-esque anti-trust situation? If Google or Apple especially end up dominating their phones to the exclusion of other software vendors, the EU or US might require them to back off. Right now I have Google automatically putting apps on my Android that I don’t want and it risks “breaking” my Android functionality if I try to remove them. Memories of IE and Windows..

  53. Twain Twain

    CAPITULATION — wow, I haven’t seen that word in aaaages and it’s a great word.So far I’ve resisted Android. In developer terms it would mean Eclipse instead of XCode as an IDE which has little appeal, having to do more responsive configurations for different Android screen sizes, having to learn a new db model etcetcetc.I switched from MS Windows and Sony products to go all Appley. Android hasn’t persuaded me yet.

  54. Twain Twain

    There has to be a GAMES constellation surely? (Candy Crush etc)?

  55. Felix Jamestin

    Fred, you mentioned that constellations were seen during the downloadable PC-app phase. It’s interesting to also pursue why this wasn’t so during the web-app phase (apart from a few like Google’s): lesser friction in “downloading” apps and better interoperability (through links).It’ll be amazing if you could do a “systems” analysis of all the forces that contribute to how people consume services and how that changes over time. (E.g. during the PC era, as hardware got cheaper and people needed to access their data from multiple places, they started valuing the portability of web-apps. Cut to today, what happens when cheap screens proliferate and you value being able to access your data in meaningful ways from multiple places?)

  56. Dasher

    Good point – This will severly limit the mobile innovation until mobile web tech improves to the extent where it opens up the mobile platform like the PC web.A more appropriate title for the post would App Mafias or App Kiretsu.

  57. Ciaran

    One obvious gap in your app constellation universe is Amazon. Two of my most browsed apps are Kindle and Marvel/Comixology, which are now essentially one and the same.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, i need to add them to my list

  58. Sriram Yadavalli

    Could be time for a new mobile UI paradigm.Specifically, maps could be a runtime to host “apps” in it. For example, if a user wants to hail a cab, she could launch Maps and Uber would be a service provider in it. Google recently announced partnership w/ Uber. Similarly, “Search” could be a runtime for e-commerce transactions like book a hotel room tonight.So, UI is more task oriented and based on a service provider model (instead of siloed apps).

  59. Dan Peguine

    Cheetah mobile with their 360M MAU on android and their constellation of apps around “phone optimization”:- Clean Master- Battery Doctor- CM security

  60. bernardlunn

    I think that is why we need a verified digital ID that is not controlled by walled gardens or Govts that is probably based on Blockchain.

  61. Ana Milicevic

    I really like the concept of constellations — have been thinking of this as collections, but that doesn’t really convey the degree of interconnectedness b/w the individual apps that is required.Basically it’s a mini OS for apps (that’s smaller in scope than the device OS and larger than an individual app’s functionality set).

  62. Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg

    Evernote is definitely a constellation for me, and one of the things I really like about this constellation is the way that it (similarly to Amazon and Google) transcends not only the mobile/PC divide, but also the internet/real world (meet space) divide as well. Evernote crosses this divide both from within its app features–for example it now scans business cards and sends linkedin invites & it serves as a great way to scan/save/search/share recipes–as well as it’s integrations with peripheral devices like the Jot stylus or scansnap scanner. It even integrates with “old school” things like moleskin notebooks and sticky notes.

  63. Albin

    Many or most of these apps are nothing but locally stored web pages, entirely dependent on data or wi-fi web access. They are a nuisance to install and continually update, diminish performance of the phone, and could be better and more consistently managed in the cloud with well-designed mobile optimized web pages. For example, I recently discovered Amazon’s obscure mobile web page that for my purposes renders the locally installed a redundancy and nuisance.Smartphone browsers are likewise poorly designed knock-offs of full desktop browsers with thick search and navigation borders that clog the screen instead of elegant full-screen launchers to cloud services (or games). While some locally installed, offline functionality will remain, the more interesting future is away from the goofy fragmentation of locally installed apps and clunky browsers to an integrated cloud experience.

  64. Teemu Kurppa

    Since Nokia S60 times I’ve thought that the mobile phone home screen is the most valuable “virtual estate” in the world. And the land grab is going on as we speak. Because the “virtual estate” is so limited, it will be insanely valuable to own even a little corner of users’ home screen.The small remedy for this rich get richer scheme is to change home screen behaviour to be much more dynamic. I could imagine a working model where apps are launched mainly through search (voice and text) and “the most recently used” lists.

  65. Guest

    Some stats/visual LUMA Partners put together to address this. These are comScore’s 14 most downloaded Apps. They are owned by 6 companies — all the usual suspects.

  66. paramendra

    I have eight folders on my Home Screen.

  67. John Revay

    This just in…Twitter Is Considering a Deal to Buy SoundCloud…Buy or Build – App Constellations

  68. Mrs. Kjolner

    Hello Friends! Want to exchange 5-star Reviews in iOS Appstore? Help us rate our ecard App now…

  69. Dorian Dargan

    I’m liking that color coordination, BWats. Missing YouNow though… smhcc: @JohnExley:disqus

  70. fredwilson

    i use the Nova launcher third party app to customize my Android experience

  71. fredwilson

    31 if you count google search 🙂

  72. fredwilson

    i don’t use folders anywhere in my life