The End Is Near for Mobile Apps

How we went from “there’s an app for that” to “meh, do we really need one?”

Lance Ng
6 min readOct 31, 2018


Image: pictafolio/Getty

In the next three to seven years, I expect most mobile apps to disappear. With them, we’ll witness the loss of billions in venture capital that we’ve poured into the mobile startup sector. It will all be burned to ashes, with nothing left but stray lines of code.

The vision was that, one day, every legal entity would have its own mobile app.

The logic came to me six years ago. At the time, I was thinking about investing in a startup that created a mobile app to create apps for users without needing them to code (the concept is similar to website builders like Wix except for a native mobile app). You would simply enter some basic information and the app would generate an app for you on its cloud server. You could then download and install this app on your phone and ask others to do the same by sharing a link or QR code. The idea was to make it easy for individuals and small businesses to create their own personal apps for social or marketing purposes.

The vision was that, one day, every legal entity (human beings and companies) would have its own mobile app. These apps would be dotted all over the internet, like physical properties on a map. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. I doubt it ever will for a few straightforward reasons that are already affecting app usage.

1. We can only put up with about 50–100 apps on our phones.

If you don’t believe me, count the number of apps you have on your phone. Chances are, if you take away the manufacturer’s pre-installed apps that you can’t delete, you have, at most, 100 apps. Those you use frequently probably number less than 30. Too many apps slow down your phone. They take up memory space, run background processes, and constantly check for push notifications even when not in use.

In any case, would you really install a few hundred of your friends’ apps or the apps of all your favorite restaurants, grocers, and laundromats?

2. Apps must fulfill a frequent, functional purpose instead of just providing



Lance Ng

Venture Capital | Startups | Founders. Get funded on