Thoughts on Kinoma Create and Google Docs Add-ons
“There’s more than one way to do it.”
— Larry Wall, creator of Perl
“More choices make us less happy.”
— Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice
As a species, I think we’re very schizophrenic when it comes to the freedom to choose. We place a high value on maximizing our potential choices, but at the same time, we often resent the anxiety and inefficiency caused by having to decide which of many choices is optimal.
While I’m grateful that our society affords us the luxury of pursuing options ever more specialized to our individual predilections, I find it increasingly pleasurable when I can avoid entirely having to make decisions, especially when such decisions are about means rather than ends.
I first came across Kinoma in October 2010 when they showed me what I have often described as one of the most compelling demos I’ve ever seen.
Despite hard work by many, webOS’ performance problems were never adequately resolved. And to be honest, just as troubling as the performance problems was that the feature set of HTML wasn’t competitive with iOS.
Since that demo more than three years ago, Kinoma was acquired by Marvell. Back then, their platform was positioned as a replacement for the native environments of mobile devices. Now, in their new role as a division of one of the world’s largest chip manufacturers, they’ve positioned their technology as a platform for the emerging connected devices ecosystem.
The use of crowdfunding seems a little unusual given Marvell’s enormous size, but the Kinoma team is using the crowdfunding mechanism explicitly as a way to gauge demand as early as possible in the development process—a sort of pre-order mechanism.
Google Docs Add-ons
This is one situation where the application—helping my daughter get stuff done—is so much more satisfying to play in than the tools—having to teach her new languages as the domain switches.