“In the Studio,” Heroku’s Mattt Thompson Wants to “Automate Away” Web Development

Editor’s Note: Semil Shah (@semil) is currently an EIR with Javelin Venture Partners and has been an official contributor to TechCrunch since January 2011.

“In the Studio” barrels through the summer months by welcoming a hacker from the rustbelt, a former mobile lead at a company acquired by the world’s largest social network, and now, having relocated to the Bay Area, leads mobile and design efforts for one of the Valley’s great web development platforms.

Mattt Thompson (yes, there are three T’s in Mattt) is currently focusing on mobile and design for Heroku, a company he joined after his previous employer — Gowalla — was acquired by Facebook. And in his free time, he’s either toying with some of his new projects or thinking deeply about the future of web development and its relationship to mobile.

In this short discussion, Thompson discusses a range of topics that would be on the minds of mobile application creators as well as web developers. As the web presents limitations in a mobile app context, many apps also interact with the web in significant ways. Thompson believes app developers should be spending the overwhelming majority of their time designing their app experience and focusing on growing users, while leaving some of the development to other services. He also shares his deeper philosophies around the hacker ethos of solving hard technical problems in today’s environment where new tools and web dev environments can, in some ways, “automate away” some of the more repeatable and/or trivial technical problems.