On my list of technology companies that annoyed me this week because their software automatically ‘upgraded my experience’ to a significantly worse experience for me is Google and Samsung. Not Apple, but only because I no longer have any Apple products in my life (sorry about that, Steve).
- The arrows in the navigation bar in Google Chrome disappeared.
- My phone took a 500Mb+ upgrade over 3g without me being aware of it. Woo hoo!
- On the plus side, I now have some rounded corners on some icons.
- On the down side, WiFi doesn’t work properly and constantly clicks out giving me a ‘Wireless Network Unstable’ message every minute or so, I can’t access my gmail account through the email client that tells me I have entered my password incorrectly though I wrote it down (It is password1 obviously) and the same password works on my Gmail on Android, Facebook wants to install a better experience on my Android phone (all I have to do is give them permission to read my emails, SMS, make call on my behalf etc. No thank you). I now have a bunch of useless or unwanted new apps to uninstall.
I honestly can’t think of a single benefit that I as a user of these products have got out of either improvement. I can see multiple reasons why the new phone OS will be of significant potential benefit to the company that provided it.
Then I saw the news from 37Signals/Basecamp.
- TL;DR: we are focusing on the one thing we do best and want to make sure that the other stuff we do is taken on and well supported by others.
“We will be a one product company. That product will be Basecamp. Our entire company will rally around Basecamp. With our whole team – from design to development to customer service to ops – focused on one thing, Basecamp will continue to get better in every direction and on every dimension.”
Not everyone on Hacker News was wild about the news. Personally, I love companies that want to do fewer things, better (we are taking this very seriously here at the moment). It is nice to be reminded once in a while that not every software business out there works in the same way.