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Strong opinions, weakly held

Anil Dash the work/home divide

Anil muses on the idea that the iPhone is unsuitable for the enterprise, and more generally on the idea that somehow “work” products and “home” products are mutually incompatible. Anil has been on fire lately. Here’s a snippet:

Here’s the truth: You can meet all the (reasonable) requirements of an Enterprise while still creating a product that delights and inspires the people who make up that organization.

In fact, you have to do so.

The only tools that succeed in an enterprise situation are those which are so compelling that people choose to use them in their free time. Look at email, instant messaging, hell — look at the telephone. These staples of business communication are so popular because they meet the “I want this as part of my life” threshold. They can even be so good as to inspire addiction, complete with withdrawal in their absence.

1 Comment

  1. It’s a good rant and the sensibility behind it certainly informs the design of the product I’m working on – it’s supposed to be fun to use and “viral” in the sense that people ought to see other people using it and want it for their applications too.

    However, “The only tools that succeed in an enterprise situation are those which are so compelling that people choose to use them in their free time”, while a great slogan, is not actually true. There are many tools that succeed in large enterprises that are so boring or special-purpose that you would never use them for anything personal at all. It certainly helps when apps are easy enough and fun enough that using them is a joy, but if the only way to get something essential done is to slog through the world’s worst UI, people will do it when they’re paid to (see: IBM; Oracle).

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