Birchtree
By Matt Birchler
I've been writing here since 2010! Back when personal blogs were all the rage. Kids, ask your parents.

The Fading "Real Computer"

Office, messaging and verbs - Benedict Evans

When people talk about productivity - about PowerPoint and Excel and how Google Docs and the cloud will or won't kill them, or messaging and the cloud, or how you need a PC for 'real work' - I'm reminded of CC Baxter and his Friden calculating machine. What killed those machines was not better, cheaper competitors but a completely different way to address the same underlying business need. Instead of hundreds of people recalculating insurance rates, the company bought a mainframe. The business need was being met, but the mechanism changed completely and the old tools disappeared.

This is how tech revolutions happen. There's no doubt that iOS and Android have completely changed how we communicate (WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat) and they're starting to really change the way we work (Slack, Google Docs, etc). Most companies are too big and too entrenched to change fast, but younger, smaller companies have moved to these new mobile first platforms. You're going to be hard pressed to find a startup these days who runs their business on Office and Exchange.

Things are changing as we speak, and in 10 years we may be surprised how little our day-to-day lives include a "real computer."

Show Comments

Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love.

Hey there, I'm Matt!

I'm a UI/UX designer at NMI and I make videos over on A Better Computer, which I think you'll love. You can also check out my side projects, Quick Reviews and Quick BIN Lookup.