Less Software - Lessons from the Front Line of the War on Bloatware

Handwritten by TVD

Open Source Rails 3 Blogging app - Blogcast

Less software is beautiful software. In a world plagued by Bloatware, Blogcast is freedom. Blogcast is about less features and under-doing the Status Quo. Without the proper writing environment, blogging can be a pain. Blogcast is the pain killer.

I’m not at war with anyone’s brand or anyone’s project. As Open Source developers, I firmly believe each of our projects add value to the development ecosystem.

I am at war with an outdated concept. A concept that has outlived its usefulness. An esoteric cold war paradigm that wrongly boasts bigger is better. I am at war with Bloatware and its time has passed.

Less software is our fight against complexity. Less software means less features, less code, less waste. Yet, at its core, I believe less software is about more than the code we produce.

For me, less software is also about preparing my mind to spot and eliminate pain points. For any of you who have started a new business, I don’t have to tell you how difficult spotting pain points can be.

Less Software is Ascension

Luck plays a factor in revealing those pain points. Yes. I respect Lady Luck and honor her as I do Our Lady of the Code. Yet, at my core, I fundamentally believe in human talent.

I believe in our ability to ascend to states better than we were. I also believe this ascension isn’t free. The path to enlightenment comes with a price.

A human mind must be cultivated to recognize opportunity, imbued with the courage to act, disciplined to execute on one opportunity at a time and still be financially sound to bring that opportunity to market. The elephant in the room is these are all very expensive talents.

One could easily spend anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 cultivating such talents. How many people do you think have the will or resources to do this? Not many. This is why great software is so rare. Still, great software is not impossible to proliferate.

Less Software is Human Potential

What does human potential have to do with Less Software? Everything. Usable software isn’t powered by the latest framework or the next shiny storage engine. The best software is powered by a more intimate energy source - YOU.

Godlike in perception, yet stamped with all the frailty of conception, great software is driven by the spirit of its creator. Less software is better because its creator has the experience and resilience to ask the tough questions.

During development of Blogcast, I forced myself to ask, What don’t I need? While the Status Quo hurriedly asks, What can I add next!?!

The former is much harder to do than the latter because you have to get comfortable with saying no. For many, that’s very hard to do. But, as Jason Fried once said, “No is easier to do. Yes is easier to say.”

The Status Quo is stuck in this seemingly infinite cycle of wannabes and what should I haz next. But, fundamentally, they are all the same. I can only imagine the first brood desperately trying to be the Microsoft Word of the Internet. Later, not knowing the original intention, copycats predictably followed suit.

Many good developers quit giving back as bloggers. Why? Because writing with the Status Quo is painful. Blogcast is the pain killer.

Less Software takes a walk in your shoes

Blogcast is different. From the moment I started development, my aim was to get out of your way so you could express yourself fully and passionately.

Writer’s block is the number one killer of a developer’s writing potential. Blogcast has helped me overcome writer’s block more times than I care to enumerate. I think it can do the same for you, so I encourage you to download it and get started.

Blogcast’s first principle is: Live preview makes for better writing. I stand by that principle because it works.

It is appalling that the Status Quo makes you wait to preview your writing. Fundamental to writing is the iterative process and yet the Status Quo deems it necessary to frustrate that process. Why?

This is so because they do not believe, as I believe, in the value of less software. Live preview was a no-brainer for me because I use Blogcast every day and so I care very much about the writing experience.

I can spot and focus on this type of opportunity because I have the time to. This time comes from not wasting precious hours on the next killer feature or worrying about implementing the next shiny whizz-bang. I don’t care about the next feature because I have the experience and fortitude to say no.

I am laser focused on one goal - making the writing experience fun. To me, anything else is just noise. With the Status Quo you’ll end up with a certified ACME ginormous thingamajig that everyone can use and no one can enjoy.

I’ve come to the consensus that either the Status Quo doesn’t use its own software or doesn’t care about you as a writer! Some would say both.

Less Software is the Cure to Bloatware

The time has passed to prevent Bloatware. As a community, we are too far gone. The what’s next disease took hold long before our time and infects us as we speak.

Less software is the cure to Bloatware. As a community, we need to start asking, “How can I make what I have better?”

That is why Blogcast is about less features and under-doing the Status Quo. I need people who understand the value of less and can explain those benefits to people stifled by Bloatware.

As a developer, you are a soldier on the front line of better software. In a world plagued by Bloatware, it is we who are the true penicillin. I need you to help draw the line between better and bloat. Less software is that line. Support Blogcast because we need to show people what that line looks like. Join me.

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