Essays

Oct 30, 2020
maguay's avatar

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…

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…

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…

May 29, 2020
maguay's avatar

Remember Google Wave?

Gmail had quickly become the most popular email service, enough that invites to the free service were bid up on eBay. Google Docs made modern collaboration possible, spooked Microsoft enough to build free, web-based versions of its Office tools. Google itself had become a…

Mar 17, 2020
maguay's avatar

It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.

For those who have worked remotely for years—decades, even—it often started as a gradual process. We worked freelance first and figured out collaboration remotely on individual projects. That’s easy enough: One task, one set of deliverables, a deadline and a…

Nov 13, 2019
maguay's avatar

A cardboard sign and chartered plane doesn’t make an airlines, nor a video and signup form an app. But neither does a full-fledged airlines—complete with check-in counters, planes, pilots, and safety videos—guarantee success, nor the most polished app in the App Store.

“Ideas are worth nothing…

Sep 23, 2019
maguay's avatar

Free is a hard genie to put back in the bottle.

When Microsoft charged $999 for Office in 1990, little did they dream that 16 years later, their greatest competitor would be a free office suite from Google—along with dozens of small, often free apps that individually did many of the same tasks as…