“iCloud Backup”

This post from Marco Arment, about a less-than-stellar experience his grandparents had at an Apple Store, is such an important lesson to learn:

 It wouldn’t be the first time a technology expert lacked empathy for a customer, or made bad assumptions about what would be fast and easy for the customer to do on his own — especially when deciding to perform an easy, predictable, cure-all “restore”.

Reminds me of something I wrote earlier this year about asking questions and avoiding assumptions. Spending the time to do something right matters much more than doing it quickly.

My Sunday night reading list

Spent the evening with my Kindle, a few cups of tea, and my most recent items from Instapaper. The highlights of my reading list for the night:

And it works…

So why did you make this?

Because I’m a programmer, and this is what I do.

Some people jog away from their house every day, only to jog back. Others walk on a treadmill, expending energy to get nowhere. In both cases, it may appear to others that they’ve accomplished nothing, but they’ve chosen to do these seemingly redundant activities on a regular basis to incrementally improve themselves. And it works.

Marco Arment – secondcrack on GitHub.

What are your product’s goals?

Marco Arment writing about Amazon’s goals with the Kindle:

I agree: it does seem like those were Amazon’s goals. They now have an inexpensive tablet that makes it extremely easy for its users to buy more from Amazon.

Note the apparent absence of goals such as “Make a great reading experience” or “Make a great portable video player”. It serves Amazon’s business goals (assuming it sells), but it doesn’t serve its customers’ goals well.


Maybe these different standards are because the contexts are so different: magazines, newspapers, and TV all feel cheap, since they’ve shat on consumers to make a few more cents for decades, but the iPad or a well-designed website are clean, high quality, and customer-centric.

Or maybe it’s just me. I just don’t feel comfortable paying for an iPad or web publication, no matter how good it is, and then having ads shoved down my throat. It makes me feel ripped off: what did I pay for?

Marco Arment – Double-dipping.

The Masked Social Network

Effectively Instapaper has found a way to keep its users engaged with the site’s main purpose, reading, while offering users ways of keeping tabs other readers. It’s like getting a peek at someone else’s bookcase, without them knowing that you peeked.

Imagine what would happen if Twitter operated this way: you have no inkling of who is following you and others have no clue if you are following them. You just have an account that you post to, occasionally a person responds to you. The only way you know if a person is following you is when you go to Direct Message them.

Imagine that, because what would really change?

Ben Brooks – The Masked Social Network.