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I initially found it surprising that most of the professionals interviewed for The Setup use less than a dozen applications on a regular basis. I hoped to learn about some interesting tools used by others, but it was mostly a standard setup consisting of a terminal, web browser, and editor.

That made me think, so I started to analyze my own setup and realized that it's actually very similar. I spend most of my time in just a few applications regardless of a platform. I also noticed that initially I'm very excited about apps that are designed for a specific task (eg. a dedicated GTD tool) but in time I tend to gravitate towards more generic solutions (eg. a plain-text file edited with Vim). The same also applies to web and mobile applications.

That makes me wonder, do we actually need millions of apps if people don't use them in the long run? Don't we spend too much effort on playing with tools? How does it affect startups?




> it was mostly a standard setup consisting of a terminal, web browser, and editor

That's because anything that matters in software development can be accessed through a terminal, through a browser (docs, mailing lists) or through your preferred editor.

It says little about what you're actually using.

Also, software development is fucking hard anyway, and by using too many tools you're passing this threshold where any productivity gains are lost in the learning process associated with picking up new technology.


do we actually need millions of apps if people don't use them[?]

If you buy into the 80-20 rule, then yes, probably we do. Much of the software the interviewees use is stuff I use too, but where we don't overlap is where it gets interesting.




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