In Square Wallet, the Apple Store, and Uber: Software Above the Level of a Single Device starts with a quote from Dave Stutz, and ex-Microsoft-employee:
Useful software written above the level of the single device will command high margins for a long time to come. Stop looking over your shoulder and invent something!
Later, Tim mentions Square. His paragraph captures why Square excites me:
If you’ve never experienced the magic of walking into a coffee shop, having the cashier glance down at their iPad-based Square Register to verify your face and payment credentials already provided by your phone’s automatic check-in, and buying your coffee simply by confirming your name, you haven’t yet tasted the future.
Square’s world feels like the future. And it’s powered by the thing in your pocket, the thing in a server farm somewhere and a thing on the cash desk. One piece of software distributed in many parts improving our day to day experience. The interesting part is that each piece is essential to the whole — it’s quite unlike Twitter or Facebook where you could just use the web app if you wanted. The skills to create this kind of fully distributed system are the kinds Stutz talks about, and we’re only just seeing the start of their being flexed.
Tim captures this better than I do, so I’ll suggest you read his article as I’m starting to parrot.