Chuckellania for October 24th, 2021

Published on Thursday, October 28, 2021

The iPod became 20 years old yesterday. The infamous ”No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.” comment of the time is a timeless example of not judging products by a specs sheet1, or not trusting that the criteria of the specs sheet are the ones you would have made. For example, the iPod did indeed have less space than some contemporaries, but it achieved its space while being much smaller and lighter than the competition, making it more practical as a portable media player.

Much harder to represent in a specs sheet are questions such as: "how easy is it to use?", which is a criterion on which the iPod arguably beat the competition by a long shot, due to the tight integration with iTunes 2.0.

A lot more links over at Tsai's blog.

A similar example of missing the point (or having a particular perspective and incorrectly extrapolating that it applies to everyone) is a comment on Dropbox:

For a Linux user, you can already build such a system yourself quite trivially by getting an FTP account, mounting it locally with curlftpfs, and then using SVN or CVS on the mounted filesystem. From Windows or Mac, this FTP account could be accessed through built-in software.

Indeed, you might do that, and there are use cases where this is superior to using Dropbox. But Dropbox is useful in its own way, and ultimately for many, many more people.

Or, to phrase it better:

This historical comment from Dropbox’s launch represents a perpetual arrogance seen with tech enthusiasts.

They deconstruct a product into functional check boxes, while ignoring the human experience, because that is merely “soft skills”.

Your checkboxes are your weakness.

There's also a factor of valuing your time.

According to an ongoing antitrust investigation, one of the reasons Google Chrome started integrating/forcing the login to Google services was in order to circumvent the need for cookies, while still effectively gathering just as much private data. Google itself could still track users, while third parties had to continue to rely on cookies and other methods.

The complaint also alleges that Google throttled non-AMP pages in order to then help support their argument that AMP improved page loading speeds (and, therefore, Google search result rankings).

  1. Or a matrix-based product comparison.