October 20, 2020

Essays

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Oct 13, 2020
maguay's avatar

“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
maguay's avatar

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
AndrewJDavison's avatar

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
maguay's avatar

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
maguay's avatar

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…

Jul 31, 2020
maguay's avatar

300,000 people are on Superhuman’s waitlist, while 95,000 requested a Hey invite before it launched—both in pursuit of a more productive email experience. Enough people paid Roam Research from $15/month to $500 for 5 years that they hit $1 million in ARR only 6 weeks after launching paid plans.

Jul 15, 2020
maguay's avatar

The tipping point was May, 2011.

For the first time, the same number of people searched for app as software, ending software’s decades-long reign as the popular term for the stuff we run on computing devices. Program, application, software, applet, all replaced with a three-letter-word.

When Steve…

Jul 2, 2020
maguay's avatar

When Jiro dreams of sushi, you’d hardly imagine him slicing sashimi with an ordinary, dull knife. Nor would you expect Usain Bolt to cross the finish line in shoes you could pick up at an outlet, the London Symphony Orchestra to grab the cheapest violins at the local music store, or Ford to take on…

Jun 26, 2020
maguay's avatar

The problems with email were there from the beginning.

You’d be reading documentation, see something to improve, and wish you could tell the author.

For MIT’s programming staff in 1965, that idea led to the invention of email. “A new command should be written to allow a user to send a private…