My first article for EE Catalog Techguide is now online! In The Challenge of Ubiquitous Content, I relate the Walkman, iPods and smartphones, 80s hair bands and Azure to the expectations of corporate users:

In my previous role as an enterprise developer, my cohorts and I would joke that our users wanted all data, in all formats, in all places, at all times. There is truth in sarcasm, and that statement holds a great deal of truth.

It’s not an understatement that the iPod was the device many of us had been waiting for our whole lives. The Walkman first took the world by storm by making something we loved (our music) portable. Thanks to a pair of tiny ear buds, school buses, family trips, and even church became places we could consume our media. A competitive market in blank audio tapes led to the rise of the mix tape, where we were no longer bound to a single artist—we could proclaim our teenage desires through the words and melodies of a number of artists. We were in full control of our entertainment (at least until our parents confiscated the ear buds). Fast forward a couple decades—music collections are larger, device capacities are greater, playlists have replaced mix tapes, and the expectation of “all my stuff, everywhere I want it, when I want it, in a timely manner” is firmly planted in people’s minds. We’ve progressed chronologically, and our content interests have moved beyond the latest power ballad, but we still want it all, and we want it now.

The challenge for content producers is to deliver on this expectation, regardless of whether the content is a video of a talking dog, a bestselling novel, or last quarter’s sales summary. Meeting this challenge requires multiple solutions at different layers of our application design.


Check out the full article at