iNap@Work interface for the iPhone

One of the latest applications for the iPod and iPhone, iNap@Work, is a clever joke — a program that mimics ordinary office sounds while its owner takes a nap.

The simple user interface allows users to adjust mouse and keyboard clicks, the sound of paper crumpling, sharpening pencils, and the common sounds of a wet-ware operator (clearing throat, sniffling, and blowing into a tissue).

At $0.99 from iTunes,  it is priced to make small profits on many downloads.

The business model for iPod apps can be described as small, cheap, and democratic.  It is the antithesis of the huge, expensive, and centrally-controlled production model (i.e., Microsoft).

These are two extreme models of software production in which Eric Raymond describes in his classic article, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar.”

Is the bazaar model the next killer app? Or just another killer nap?

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Phil Davis

Phil Davis

Phil Davis is a publishing consultant specializing in the statistical analysis of citation, readership, publication and survey data. He has a Ph.D. in science communication from Cornell University (2010), extensive experience as a science librarian (1995-2006) and was trained as a life scientist.