One Cloud To Rule Them All ?

These days I’ve got my stuff in the cloud.

Or I should say clouds.

I’ve got stuff in iCloud (beta), Dropbox, Evernote, Simplenote, Crashplan, Google Apps, and others that I’m leaving out. 

At our partners meeting this week, we reviewed a few other startups that are building cloud lockers where my stuff could and will likely end up.

Andrew asked if we will continue to have a world where users have multiple cloud relationships or will one cloud rule them all. Will Amazon or Apple or Google be our single cloud provider? 

That question made me think of Fred’s post, One Graph To Rule Them All?.

No surprise, I agree with Fred’s view that one graph won’t rule them all. Our investments in exfm, foursquare, tumblr, twitter, etoro, boxee and svpply is backed by our belief multiple graphs are important to users.

Check out this post about a teenagers view of Tumblr vs Facebook. The comparison resonates with me and why people use both products everyday. 

I think the same rationale driving multiple graphs, leads me to believe that one cloud will not rule them all. The best experience for each activity tied to a separate cloud instance is what I want.

And I suspect it will come from various sources, apps and companies. 

There is, however, one other characteristic that does define the Web, and that is the humble hyperlink. Links are a feature of HTML, but they are not limited to HTML. Links are the connections that give the Web its name, and links are the biggest thing missing from native platforms. Some have pointed out to me that iOS and Android allow you to construct URLs that let users navigate between apps, but what they are navigating is not a network, but the tiny subset of the App Store they have installed on their devices. That is a far less powerful idea than the Web, where a single click is guaranteed (network willing) to take you to a self-contained application that begins running immediately