In 2005, a new wave of web applications started garnering a lot of attention among technology commentators and the press.
One displayed housing listings on an interactive map, another showed graphical representations of social networks by using photographs of individuals connected with lines, and others showed real-time locations of taxicabs and recent crimes.What all these applications had in common, besides being web apps, was that they were built very quickly by small teams, often only one person. How was this possible?
The difference between these apps and traditional software development was the developers’ reliance on extant software and services like Google Maps and Craigslist apartment listings. By reusing these large, powerful services, the developers were able to focus on the creative part of development where they were adding unique value, not reinventing the wheel.
The development costs and risks were so low that hundreds of individual programmers began to develop fun and hobbyist applications that until very recently were infeasible to build.
These applications became known as “mashups”.
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