Moulding one’s own Reality from blobs of Overinformation

Louis Rossetti, in conversation with Om Malik:


Today, with so many different nodes on the network, the idea of “that’s the way it is” seems ludicrous, although people adhere to it in this atavistic way of thinking that there is a “that’s just the way it is” reality. There is a real reality. I think everyone of us are touching the elephant and trying to imagine what that reality is. Instead, what’s happening is nobody can get the whole elephant, so there’s this consensus reality that is being generated about that elephant.

... we don’t really know that’s the way it is on an individual level. The whole tribe has a sense of it in their subconscious, a super conscience way. It’s time, perhaps, to let go of the feeling that there is a security of one reality, although there is only one reality.

Helping your users grok your app the way you do

Whether you explicitly created it or not, you have a conceptual model of your app, or site. What parts do what. What they are called. And how they fit together.

This is different from the visual model, for your iPad app could look very different from your iPhone app and your web app.

So it’s important that your users grok the app the way you intend them to, and the best way is to quickly and simply walk them through it at first use.

Things 3 does it quite well for a sophisticated app:

Note that doing this is straightforward because Things has also designed its main, home screen to reflect that conceptual model.

It could have been a set of menu options tucked away under s hamburger, or tab bars with a ‘more’ tab for expansion. Or worse the model could have been multi-level, making it truly difficult to communicate. See Swarm’s splash screens attempting to do the same thing:

It’s a great app that I like using, but the screenshots here don’t do nearly as good a job setting expectations with a new user about what the app’s about (Swarm recently radically redesigned their app, so even an existing user was, for this purpose, a new one).

Things designed their app so that the model is (mostly) single-level, and reflected on a single screen.

Speculation is when you store value instead deriving it from utility

Fred Wilson:


...that point is that you can’t keep spending something that goes up as much as Bitcoin has.

So I don’t spend Bitcoin anymore.

I hold it.

It’s a store of value now.

Ironically, once you realise something is valuable because it has utility, you turn it into a store of value.

That’s when speculation begins. And prices begin being driven up, and no longer because of its increasing utility.

When common wisdom is “sure, it’s valuable today but let me not use it because it’ll be even more valuable tomorrow”, and now that increase (explosion?) in value is because of little other than everyone thinking the same thing.

Bombay real estate is exhibit A.