The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

Ben Thompson gave his annual “state of the union” near the middle of December. As usual, it was filled with smart analysis and some great quotes. Like this:

The trend in every aspect of computing is higher and higher levels of abstraction, and that doesn’t apply just to things like programming languages. In the case of platforms, the operating system of the PC used to really matter, and then the Internet came along and it didn’t.

And this:

It turns out that “mobile” is not about devices, but rather, at a fundamental level, about computing anywhere; to differentiate between PCs or phones is an ultimately meaningless exercise. They are simply different form factors of effectively identical devices, the purpose of which is to connect us to the cloud (consumer or enterprise)

Sounds familiar. Well, it also sounds a tad obvious … but is truth nonetheless. My current usage consists of 2 MacBooks and 1 iPhone. One laptop is my primary work machine, sitting in my office and used when away from home. The other is a MBP with no working screen hooked up to an older ACD. It’s the family machine, sitting off the living room.

What is amazing is that I can switch between the two in the middle of my workday with no issues. iCloud syncs my browser details and history. Apps like Ulysses, OmniFocus, Fantastical, Mail, Notes, and DayOne make up my primary tool set and they all use Dropbox, iCloud, or their own syncing option so that everything from one machine is on the other by the time I walk upstairs.

And of course, there is Slack. Present on all three devices, the DMs and mentions I receive will notify me wherever I happen to be physically.

Ben closes with this sentiment:

What matters — what always matters! — is what actual users want to do, and what jobs they want to accomplish. And, whatever they want to do almost certainly involves communicating, which means Slack and its competitors are the best-placed to be the foundational platform of the cloud epoch.

Jobs to be done … what we believe in! I shared my setup and experience here because it illustrates Ben’s point. I move between devices, but the purpose is the same. I’m doing my job, which is comprised of various functions and requires certain tasks to be completed. And around it all is communication with others.

The device does not matter, only that I can do what I need to on each of them.