Software as a Vision

Software as a Vision

While browsing Hacker News, I came across an article titled: “Kill the Settings, Build Opinionated Software.” I’ve subscribed to the mantras of keeping your software simple and less is more for quite some time. But I haven’t stopped and considered that I should see my software as a vision.

The author writes:

If there’s a choice between setting a value to A or B, and you always choose A, why not just make A the main, unsettable, unchangeable choice? If you think A is the best decision, why even let people choose B? Well, in App Store land, people like to whine about B. They’ll post 1-star reviews asking when B will exist and say that they’ll bump it up to a 5-star review when B is implemented. Others will see that review and ask about C, or D, because they think those are equally important.\ \ This is all bullshit.\ \ You’re the developer. Everything is up to you. Apple doesn’t listen to users and they’re the most successful technology company in the world. They have a fearless leader who’s not afraid to piss people off by removing floppy drives or buttons on a mouse. He’s not afraid to scrap successful, acclaimed products and start over from the ground up. He builds what he wants because he knows he’s building great stuff. That’s what you should do, too.

I know a lot of ‘power users’ probably scoff at the idea, much like they hate the idea of Steve Jobs being this century’s Henry Ford. But, you know what? Who cares. Let megacorp make software to satisfy their insatiable need for configuration. You see, most megacorps feel that they need to make products to please everyone. You don’t need to please everyone.

Software as a Vision is different than the KISS principle. Software as a Vision could include the KISS principle and most likely does. But, Software as a Vision is all about you. Software as a Vision all about the art that your create. You are an artist and the software that you create is artwork. It’s your vision. I love this thought. Of course, it’s important to note that this isn’t black and white and that you should ignore your customers if they point out potential improvements or request features. It’s just important to note that it’s your software and that it’s your vision. People aren’t loyal to commodities, they’re loyal to beliefs and visions. Make your software your vision.

You can follow me on Twitter: @jprichardson

-JP Richardson

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