New paradigm for software development

Key takeaways:

  • Shifting costs of an app to the user will revolutionize business models.

  • The will be no user lock-in - data will be accessible from any device, any app.

Currently, large companies that grow to a certain scale get tempted to silo the data and lock in users of their apps. Although in some cases there is a level of compatibility, you cannot freely move between providers of office software, communication apps and certainly not social media apps, for example. Social network apps like to control what you see based on limited user segmentation algorithms, so they can exert influence. The lock-in is what the profit model depends on.

Swarm could be described as a system that stores and serves data on demand. Due to smart economic incentives, any data will be accessible from any device. It will be fast, robust and autoscaling, due to smart economic incentives.

It might be considered a small thing, but shifting the costs of running the application from the host to the user will revolutionize the business model of how software is built (The Book of Swarm Online Event - Intro Talk by Elad Verbin, 2020). It will be much cheaper to develop software. The developer does not need a profit model in advance.

Traditional clouds have already moved in the direction of making up-front cost for development as small as possible. This is possible with different cloud services that abstract away even maintenance and scalability away from the developer, letting developers focus on the code. What Swarm will bring this to the extreme - the network of nodes and the incentives system is designed in such a way that no upfront costs are necessary for the developer and the network scales availability of content automatically with increasing popularity of content.

If we attempt to see the not so far away future - another kind of developers will emerge - software will be made by single developers or in cooperation with other developers, even as open source projects, as revenue would be earned via sharing of network fees. And social collaboration is the most powerful force society has. Iterations will be able to be done faster, adding new features in quicker and directly serving users. Interfaces will feature standard data formats and there will be no user lock-in. Smart apps will be developed, rapidly evolving in a highly competitive environment.

What the internet did was cause all data to be treated equally. Swarm will advance this, by making all data accessible. A small change in the economic model will bring about large changes to the software ecosystem. Web 2.0 capabilities will be reached with Web 1.0 freedom.

The developing FairOS layer will make the new paradigm even easier as it abstracts the underlying chunk layer to work directly with the higher level concepts, such as filesystems, as described in the section about FairOS-dfs.