I’ve been thinking about the tools I use a lot recently. When I say tools, I mean software. We have so many choices available to us now, which is both a blessing and a curse. I love trying new tools, but grow frustrated with how many tools I am using over time.
So many software tools I’ve used seem to be very similar to each other with only small differences between them. This isn’t a bad thing inherently, but it points to a lack of innovation.
Most people would say that having more choices is better. On the surface that seems true, but what that implies is that by having more choices, we will have better tools. And by having more choices, we will find a tool that helps us do what we need. That is not the effect of having more choices. The effect is that you just have more choices.
Innovation is a gamble. A risk. You can’t just do the same thing, but a little differently. If you’re building a new product in a market that already has several established options, you won’t make a big dent in the market unless you do something a little bit crazy.
I’m doing a bit of digital decluttering right now. Trying to simplify the multiple systems I use for just simple tasks. Most of them are pretty much the same. I’d love to run into a new product that makes me question everything.
When you do find a rare product like that, you hope the people and company that build it will nurture it and continue to make it even better. I want a product that does what I need it to and feels natural from the start. I use a lot of products that don’t feel that way, just because there isn’t something better out there.
Make that thing.