December 3, 2020

Essays

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Nov 25, 2020
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“It’s a feature, not a product,” said Steve Jobs of Dropbox, after approaching founder Drew Houston about acquiring the file sync software.

Everything could be a feature, to Jobs. Cameras, alarm clocks, calculators—all features in the iPhone. Even Apple’s other products weren’t immune. The iPod was…

Nov 6, 2020
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The craziest app came out a month after the App Store opened to the public, charging $999 for a digital red gem and the text “I am rich.” It sold six copies and shut down the next day.

The next craziest app came out April 1, 2014. You’d tap a button to send your friend a one-word message: “Yo.”…

Oct 30, 2020
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Listen to an audio take on this essay on the SaaS Radio Hour’s podcast.

Flat-pack Ikea furniture can hardly rival the permanence of an oversized mahogany desk. But the mind’s a fickle thing, and you might value a desk you spent an afternoon assembling more than it’s worth.

That’s what a Harvard…

Oct 22, 2020
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To hear an audio take on this story, subscribe to SaaS Radio Hour.

It all started when Charlie Brown let out a *sigh* at the state of things.

Good grief, he'd say when the going got tough. But words alone couldn't express the full human experience. So Charles Schulz reached for the asterisk…

Oct 13, 2020
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“You should...commence the conversation by saying 'Hulloa!'” suggested the first phone book, New Haven, Connecticut’s The Telephone Directory. “When you are done talking, say 'That is all!', and the person spoken to should say 'O.K.'”

And so language changed, at least to start conversations.

As…

Oct 6, 2020
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It all started with a stack of books.

You don't just buy a desk on a whim, especially when you're not sure you can type reliably while standing. So, after one too many hours hunched over a desk, I enlisted my textbooks to help pay off the education they gave me. One stack to put the laptop at eye…

Sep 24, 2020
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It used to be that automation was limited to factory floors and robot product lines. Now, automating business tasks is sweeping across every market — and fast!

In 2020, just about everyone has used — or at least heard of — apps like Zapier, IFTTT, and Integromat, or at least used built-in…

Aug 27, 2020
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It almost felt like common knowledge that software was increasingly expensive. Yet was it, really? Had the move from boxed software and one-time licenses to subscriptions and SaaS had actually resulted in higher prices, we wondered?

So last year we picked 100 popular business software, dug through…

Aug 6, 2020
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One day, Internet Explorer was nearly the only game in town, powering 96% of website visits at its peak in 2002. Then, quickly it turned into the app you only used to download Firefox or Chrome, or so the joke went. And then Internet Explorer died and turned into Chrome.

Empires rise then quickly…