Web apps vs native. The final calculus

This is the classic argument between web and native developers since the dawn of iOS and Android…

Native apps are a non-solution because we have to develop for so many platforms and it is too expensive

This is the only argument that holds any water — making native apps is arguably more expensive than making web apps (I would counter it is not more expensive than making really amazing web apps). The problem is that for any product that operates in a medium to large market (in the scale of $millions), it is only a matter of time until your competitor makes native apps. Then you’re already on the backfoot and could cede the market to your users that have jumped to mobile, as Facebook almost did by being late to mobile.

So really this argument is completely pointless. For businesses that work in any kind of lucrative market with competitors, it can only be sanely expressed as:

T <= CT

Where:

  T is “Time to us implementing native apps”
  CT is “Time to our competitors implementing native apps”