Is your app just slow or you’re killing people?

 Technology review had this great article on ‘The Slow-Motion Internet’ -it is a write-up from Google POV, and that’s helpful as they have gotten the performance part right.






Key Insights –




  1. Demand for perceived performance is getting steeper. People could tolerate 8 sec for a page to load in 2000; but they would leave after 3 sec in 2009. In 2012, they would probably go away after 1 sec. Apart from organic improvement in performance, ‘minimized mobile interfaces’ caused the expectations to increase.




  1. Mobile requires us to up the game 100x – 50% customers want NO performance difference between Mobile and Web sites. Now, it may sound like saying – “I expect the plane to fly at same speed on ground, and at 30K feet” – but customer is always right, so we got to deliver.

    (Roughly) Average mobile bandwidth is about 20% as fast as usual broadband; mobile processors is about 50% as powerful and the screen is about 10% as big as non-mobile surfing device.

    This requires an app to be 100x (5*2*10) more efficient on Mobile as on Web.

    Not all 100x will come from “squeezing real estates” or just minimization always. There will always be stuff running on “cloud”. That will have to contribute significantly as well.

  2. Page’s Law – Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster. i.e., Software follows reverse of Moore’s Law – not doing anything will make software 2x slower every 18 months. It is an arms race.

  3. At some degree, slowness is like killing people (Google Philosophy of Performance) – Humans live, on average, about 2B seconds. If we’re serving just 0.5B transactions a day 0.1 sec slower than expected, that equals to wasting 9 full life-times a year.

  4. Browsing web pages “should be like changing channel on the TV”





About Nilendu Misra
I love to learn, create and coach. Things that I do well are - Communicating ideas - verbally or through words and diagrams; Problem Solving - Logical or Abstract; Very Large Scale Systems; think about 'Frighteningly Simple' approach first. Things that I intend to do better are - Establishing Stringent Process; Exchanging Tough Feedback; Keeping up with my reading or To-Do list to be able to completely relax.

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