Tweetie's interface is so clean you would think it came straight out of Apple headquarters.
The Windows world is clamoring for a PC Windows version of Tweetie, but it doesn't look its going to get one. When Chen ask Loren Brichter about it, he said.
I’m a Mac and iPhone kind of guy, so probably not. My philosophy has always been to build things that I would use myself. If I start using Windows,or Linux or Android or the Pre for that matter, on a day-to-day basis, then yes, I’ll absolutely want to bring Tweetie over to those platforms. Chances look slim though.
I wonder if this is culturally telling. In another time, a guy like Brichter might be expected to pursue the Windows market. That was name of the game. Maximize your audience. Grow the business. Scale up. Cash out.
It wasn't just the name of the game. It's the very logic, the deep presumption, of capitalism. You were in it to win it. The point of the exercise was to seize and then exploit opportunity.
But Loren sings a different song. It sounds like he's happy to work to the limit of the world he cares about…and no farther. He builds things he will use himself…and not otherwise. It would take an extended interview to capture his motives in full. (And it may just be that he does want to have to program for the Windows world. And who could blame him for that?) But it may be that he doesn't care about growth. He is not looking for economic triumph. He is looking for sufficiency.
Will we see more of this? I think we might. We have a generation or two in place who are not much interested in the individualism that is red of tooth and claw. They are happy to do well, but not less interested in "succeeding wildly." They are looking perhaps for that sweet spot between too little and too much, between the privations that forces you to live at the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy and the surfeit of wealth that forces you to worry about how big the yacht should be.
Well, we have had people who entertained this view for many years (and many generations). I am wondering whether this group is growing. Is this position less minor and more major? Does it now have a shot it someday become the majority opinion? This is where anthropology is obliged to hand things over to sociology.
As people seek intrinsic rewards over extrinsic rewards, this trend must grow. After all, programming for Windows will take almost all the pleasure out of Brichter's work. He will make much more money, but the cost will be high. And that is surely one of the shifts going on here. People like Brichter are measuring career objectives in a more complicated way, not just by wealth, but by satisfaction, bliss, colorful parachutes and other metrics.
But there may also be a new idea of scale here. "Good enough" and "just enough" are ideas we see breaking out all over. Perhaps they are career and business objectives as well. There is something happening here. Or not. What do you think?
Chen, Brian X. 2009. Hands-on: Tweetie for Mac Shakes up Twitterverse. Wired. April 20, 2009. here.
Thanks to Craig Swanson for telling me about Tweetie.