Saturday, March 30, 2013

Path’s Dave Morin

Man, the world has some weird people in it.

The product keeps your social network small, limiting Path users to only 150 friends in an attempt to mimic real-world friend-and-family circles

(Apparently for people who need an app to say "no" for them.) (Also: "only" 150 friends? If that's a low number, no wonder people need help choosing.)

Ringtone: None.
“I don’t use a ring of any kind on my phone. This is so that I am always on offense and never defense.”

Aha. I'll bet his bible is "The Art Of War". 

The article states that he loves "Circa", an app which condenses the news down to small bites, fitting on a phone. It seems USA Today had a love child with Twitter. Great, you'll appear informed without having to read or think or digest or understand anything. 

Phone wallpaper: The Tetons.
“They remind me of home and my values. The mountains are my soul.”

Comment under the article: 
"Too bad he did not have an App that could tell him that his answers _ not to mention that ridiculous photo_ would make him look like a self absorbed, humorless ass."

There are three other comments, but they are not visible, they are "under review". Were they less respectful than Jimmy's!?


Anonymous said...

Great, you'll appear informed without having to read or think or digest or understand anything.

That's what the internet does already. I'd have thought you'd love the idea.

ttl said...

That's what the internet does already. I'd have thought you'd love the idea.

Well, the Internet doesn't inform us of anything. But I agree, the length of the reporting is irrelevant here. Normal length articles on news sites are already superficial and usually misleading.

For example, I used to wonder how could Eolake get things so wrong whenever he commented on anything to do with software. Then I realized it is the “tech writing” he reads. Apparently there is a whole industry of people who have never been software engineers but still write about the craft in earnest. They don't have a clue about the subject, but it doesn't matter because their readers who are computer end users can't tell the difference.

The length of the reporting in no way correlates with the quality of the reporting. Someone who knows what they are talking about can say in 140 characters more than the “david pogues” and the “walter mosbergs” of this world can in 140 pages.

Who knows, maybe the "Circa" service is good. Condensing the fluff out of an already superficial article shouldn't necessarily make things any worse.

I find that Reddit is already about as good as it gets, if you want to quickly scan the daily headlines. I trust crowd sourcing more than the algorithms of some start-up.

emptyspaces said...

Mimic "real-world" friends & family? Then it would be more like 25. Everyone else is just there to nod when you speak.

I sense some serious nerd rage brimming just beneath the surface with this guy. But the Internet does begat a lot of, as Jimmy Gatts aptly points out, self-absorbed humorless asses. Let's all stop pretending they're doing anything important, shall we?

Russ said...

Summarizing news stories turns out to be good work if you can get it! This British teen made $30 million selling his app which summarizes news stories for small screens to Yahoo:

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

"I sense some serious nerd rage brimming just beneath the surface with this guy"

ES, can you expand on that?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, I'll admit that I find the bulk of internet articles to be very superficial already.
That just moves the problem a step back, and I don't know where we are then. When I have tried paper-newspapers, I didn't find them all that much better on average.

emptyspaces said...

Sure - "nerd rage" is a term to describe the latent expression of anger amongst those that have historically referred to themselves as "nerds." For it was for the longest time that so-called nerds were considered secondary socially to their more confident, athletic peers. However, with the rise of the internet nerds became more prominent, with their knowledge of/interest in computers. And now that the whole world runs on computing power and nerds occupy that space en masse, it's payback time for years of neglect in social circles.

Normally it's a passive-agressive response. That's what I picked up on with this guy. He seem to have a serious chip on his shoulder, even while he finds success in the world in which he feels uncomfortable. So my guess is that he found that few friends and girls came calling while he was growing up, and now that he has turned the corner professionally, he has newfound confidence in which to lash out, each small way he can think of, at those he perceives to have done him wrong (or more likely, ignored him) in the past.

Or at least that's my psych 101 interpretation. Whatever the case may be, I feel a negative vibe from him.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I hear you, thanks.

Like I blogged before, I always stunned at the "popularity" caste system in American high schools.
I can't figure out how it is that extremely pronounced in the US, but hardly exists in Europe. Unless it's that the US is a younger country, consisting of competitive immigrant types and their descendants, so competition is much more prominent in the culture.

ttl said...

Like I blogged before, I always stunned at the "popularity" caste system in American high schools.

Yeah, even the word "nerd" is purely an Americanism. When I went to school, there was no classification of the optics-using bookish types. (Or the sporty types for that matter.) To my knowledge, there is no such concept -- at least in the derogatory sense -- in any European language. Not even English.

ttl said...

... so competition is much more prominent in the culture.

It's that, and also plain stupidity. When you can't grasp abstract concepts, your world revolves around primitive competition.

Even their colleges/universities are sports teams first, and only educational institutions by (rare) accident.

emptyspaces said...

It's interesting to hear the term "popularity caste system" - but I think that's spot on. Though it's not quite what movies & TV makes it out to be.

The silver lining for all those stuck somewhere in the "caste" they don't want to be is, being at the top of the mountain during high school years is no guarantee of future success. I doubt Bill Gates was the BMOC ("Big Man on Campus" in the States), but he turned out just fine. And there are countless other examples.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Oh yeah. In fact I bet it's more likely to do you better in the long run to have a good mind than to be the most popular cheerleader.

But it's still hard on the kids, and it's still an oddity, though of course for those growing up in it, it seems just like things are.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling most of you, most not having ever even visited the U.S., are basing your knowledge of that "caste" system on TV and movies which, guess what, don't reflect reality. Not being European I couldn't say what the schools there are like but there must be some concept of popularity - people who are liked more than others, but more people. There is always a hierarchy. I have to use a book and movie as an example, but in Let the Right One In, set in Sweden, we have that caste system just as it exists in the U.S. Based on British movies and TV that kind of thing goes on in their schools. I don't know about Denmark or Finland, never having seen any TV shows made there that might deal with the subject.

ttl said...

Yes, there are social dynamics at play everywhere humans gather together. Around the world.

The difference, as I see it, is that in the U.S. these dynamics are more simple minded than elsewhere.

Where I went to school you could certainly say that some students were more popular than others, but your popularity could have been based on anything. You could have been both ugly and the worst football player (note: football, not egghand), but still be popular for other reasons.

You could have been a huge nerd (even though there was no such concept), and be just as popular among other nerdy types of the class as, say, a musician was popular among musician types.

"Popularity caste system" is a bad choice of words because it implies popularity based on hereditary transmission. And the U.S., if any country, is a meritocracy. It's just that you can only gain that merit in one or two very simple minded ways, it seems. Hence the birth of concepts such as "nerd rage".

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Scandinavia really *is* hierarchy-free to a remarkable degree.

It has its downsides too: if work hard and become successful, few people will congratulate you and be glad for you. Many may even sneer a bit.

Anonymous said...

The difference, as I see it, is that in the U.S. these dynamics are more simple minded than elsewhere.

You still haven't said how you know this, though. Have you ever been to the U.S. or are you basing your "knowledge" of this on movies, TV, and hearsay?

European countries must once have been different or there would have been no empires there. It could be said it's only because they were different that the current system can exist. The U.S. may be on their way out as a superpower and may become more like countries like Denmark and Finland.