We can only expect to get better at what we do if we open it up to criticism. And in that spirit of openness I thought I would share a bit about Mokriya’s software development process. Maybe I can inspire some of you to try this at your workplace.
It’s painful to release the first version of a product, even if —as Reid Hoffman says— the absence of pain means you waited too long. Apple Watch is evidently being released before several sensors intended for inclusion could be perfected, reducing its impact as a health-aiding device , for example.
For years, Twitter itself has been struggling with the problems of hashtags and @names, which while effectual are kludgy and off-putting to new users. In 2014, a Twitter executive seemed to indicate their coming demise:
Ideas —especially in consumer software— tend to be worthless. As is well-known, execution, distribution, and lots of other prosaic factors are decisive. Being realistic about competitive landscapes, model necessities, and market forces is hard when you’re excited about a product idea, but as the man said: the better part of valor is discretion. That’s why, earlier this year, we at Mokriya decided not to proceed with developing a chat app we called Rooms. Today, Facebook launched a chat app called Rooms, and it gave us a big kick, so we thought we’d share the story.
Some products drive strategy, and some products reflect strategy. The former are the raison d’être of strategies —their purpose, their point— while the latter are passengers who ride for free on strategic choices already made. Products that drive strategy tend to be unique, while products which ride strategy tend to be derivative.
I’ve seen many sound analyses of the Apple Watch —or rather, of what little we know about its features and functions— already. But until its launch, what’s most fascinating about it isn’t how much RAM it has or whether its apps will really be displayed in a grape-bunch of moving icons, but rather what it tells us about Apple’s strategies, especially for creating, entering, and attempting to own new categories.
Toward what end do interfaces evolve? What are the trade-offs in the problem-solving process that drives their evolution? And what can we anticipate in future interfaces based on these patterns of evolutionary exchange?
If design hadn’t triumphed by 2012, it had by 2013. Three years after launching the iPad, Apple was the world’s most valuable company, and even second-order pundits knew why:design. Steve Jobs’ remark that design was “how it works” had achieved what seemed like widespread comprehension, and recruiting wars for top designers rivaled those for top engineers. Salaries escalated, but cachet escalated faster; entire funds emerged whose only purpose was to invest in designer founders, and with money and esteem came the fetishization of design, the reduction of designers into archetypes, the establishment of trade cliques and the ever-increasing popularity of trend-ecosystems.
Today, an Apple news and rumors site posted screenshots of Healthbook, which seems to be Apple’s first major software stab at what will likely become a major focus for them. We can consider the software and hardware to come in a few ways:
The field of design, like most early- or non-sciences, struggles with abstracting or generalizing its principles for many reasons —some addressable, some not— and as such many of its practitioners have only thousands of “rules of thumb” with scant systematizing or organizing structures behind them.