Your app should take sides

Some people argue software should be agnostic. They say it's arrogant for developers to limit features or ignore feature requests. They say software should always be as flexible as possible.

We think that's bullshit. The best software has a vision. The best software takes sides. When someone uses software, they're not just looking for features, they're looking for an approach. They're looking for a vision. Decide what your vision is and run with it.

And remember, if they don't like your vision there are plenty of other visions out there for people. Don't go chasing people you'll never make happy.

A great example is the original wiki design. Ward Cunningham and friends deliberately stripped the wiki of many features that were considered integral to document collaboration in the past. Instead of attributing each change of the document to a certain person, they removed much of the visual representation of ownership. They made the content ego-less and time-less. They decided it wasn't important who wrote the content or when it was written. And that has made all the difference. This decision fostered a shared sense of community and was a key ingredient in the success of Wikipedia.

Our apps have followed a similar path. They don't try to be all things to all people. They have an attitude. They seek out customers who are actually partners. They speak to people who share our vision. You're either on the bus or off the bus.

Make Opinionated Software


-narrowly conveyed self, thoughts, ideas, concepts. warped and compacted into easily-digestible form. over-simplification, loss of nuance. dimensionality inherently flattened.
-informs our sense of identity as something to be consumable.
-even when ppl refute the surface-level/mainstream use of instagram with radical “authenticity” “honesty” “transparency”/ an instagram ~anti- aesthetic~, it will always be a façade. distillation and curation.
-a simplified channel in which to pour our energy, attention, time, creativity, and sense of self. what would it look like to let that channel dry up and reroute into other mediums? what previously unimaginable things could emerge, evolve?
-giving others immediate access to (a version of) ourselves. what is the cost of being so easily digitally perceived, accessible, explored, influenced?
-actions become social-media oriented; curated to be ~shown~, palatable. rather than existing and growing organically, in reality.
-AKA deriving more pleasure from SHOWING OURSELVES DOING than ACTUALLY DOING. digital exhibitionism.
-our dislikes are amplified (/unfairly created). easier to project upon others when we experience a distant, distorted, contrived version of them. we see what we want to see.
-remain tethered to people from our past. it’s alluring to keep open the possibility of deeper connection. but sometimes connection remains merely because of etiquette to mutually “follow”; insulting and invalidating if rejected in that assumption.
-affirmation to ourselves that we exist, via being seen and interacted with by others. who am i if i am not constantly proclaiming that i exist? (ego-driven). methodically thrusting ourselves into the minds of others whenever we want. indulging in the validations, comforts, thrills, implications of that proclamation. while simultaneously feeling indefinitely anxious/anticipatory of certain peoples' acceptance or validation (quality), or "enough" of it (quantity). paradoxically fills and drains us.
-may foster connectivity but simultaneously breeds comparison, jealousy
-the most beautiful things that have happened in my life have not remotely occurred on or via social media. why play into creating and winning these crumbs of dopamine and validation? it’s such a weak, artificial thread of “happiness”/satisfaction. it isn’t real.

-allows access into people's lives (???)