Yes it’s true. I developed a number of CD-ROM titles and experiences in the early nineties for TWEP (Time Warner Electronic Publishing) and Ravensburger AG in Germany. A mixture of games and educational titles that sold terribly due to the ability to sell and promote them. They were great titles and working on the IA and design of them was great fun and an energizing experience.
It occurred to me recently that all the hype about Apps is simply the CD-ROM revolution revisited. The problem with CD-ROM’s was that they were expensive to develop, difficult to sell at a price point that made them viable and they took up a lot of memory on those early computers.
Apps benefit today from fast cross platform computers, high speed internet (what ‘G’ are we up to now 5, 6?), and storage memory not being a problem. Apps today are exactly what everyone expected the CD-ROM market to be.
The benefit for me is that grew up developing interactions for CD-ROM’s, and so developing Apps is an easy step in my career. But its amazing to me how quickly “experts” pop up and state that they have some special experience to develop Apps. An App is another platform to allow users to experience content. I for one will, as always, focus on the problem at hand and deliver the best solution.