Science fiction suggests that tablets are the computers of the future. From Star Trek to Westworld, a clipboard-shaped computer (often with stylus) seems more natural for humans than a desktop computer with keyboard and mouse.

In 2018, the iPad Pro is the most sophisticated tablet to date. How close is it to matching a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer for creative or productive tasks?

a tablet in HBO’s Westworld

Not very close, it seems. Our user research indicates that most creative professionals — that is, artists, scientists, writers, designers, software engineers — mainly use a desktop or a laptop computer for their work. They often…

Syncing offers a better UX than client-server for iOS/Android apps. Couchbase has an intriguing technology stack for mobile syncing.

The first stop on my European startup journey is a deep-dive with reproductive health app Clue. This week I’m working with their engineering team to explore possibilities for how to add a backend to the app.

Mobile syncing technology

So it’s 2014, and well-behaved mobile apps that connect to a backend should use a syncing model rather than a network call for every user action. Right?

Apps like Pocket, SimpleNote, and WunderList do a great job of continuing to operate normally when your internet connection is spotty or non-existent. They queue up your changes and stream them out to the network when it…

Six years as Heroku’s CTO was the greatest professional experience of my life. But what’s next?

On January 2, 2014, I boarded a one-way flight to Germany.

I’ve never lived outside the US, and my career, professional network, and friends are based in San Francisco. My intention: to connect with startup people in Europe. But what would they say when a stranger showed up out of the blue, asking to join their scene?

What I discovered was a vibrant and thriving community of people and companies, and they welcomed me with open arms. In this article I’ll tell you why I did this, how it’s played out, and what’s next. Let’s start at the beginning.

About me


Bonnie Nardi is an anthropologist who studies interactions between humans and computers. In 1993, she published her first book, A Small Matter of Programming. The book's thesis is bold and simple: every human being can, and should, learn to program computers

The book didn’t get much attention outside of academia and is now long out of print. I picked up a secondhand copy in the summer of 2007, just as I was working on the initial prototype of Heroku. The ideas from this book have inspired and haunted me ever since.

Universal literacy

It’s commonly assumed that there is a divide between…

Adam Wiggins

Building Muse for iPad // research @ Ink & Switch // previously Heroku.

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