Essays

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…

Oct 22, 2020
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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…

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…

May 19, 2020
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“The human mind does not work that way,” wrote Vannevar Bush of filing cabinets and alphabetical organization, in his seminal 1945 essay As we may think. He might have as easily invoked today’s computers, 75 years of progress notwithstanding.

Of all the metaphors computers could have used for data…

Nov 26, 2019
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When your car has an odd noise at a specific speed in inclement weather, it’s frustrating yet forgettable. When the car won’t start in the morning, though—or, perhaps worse, when it randomly won’t start even after repairs for seemingly no reason—it’s maddening. Something that used to work doesn’t…

Nov 13, 2019
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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…