It’s not a “space”, it’s a “market”

Of all the current corporate buzzwords, “space” shits me the most. I’ve been meaning to write about it, but web pioneer Marc Andreessen got there first:

There is no such thing as a “space”.

There is such a thing as a market — that’s a group of people who will directly or indirectly pay money for something.

There is such a thing as a product — that’s an offering of a new kind of good or service that is brought to a market.

There is such a thing as a company — that’s an organized business entity that brings a product to a market.

Marc’s article goes on to explain why there’s no such thing as “Web 2.0” either — in fact that’s its main thrust. It’s worth reading.

Hell, his entire blog is worth reading.

On the other hand, William Shakespeare is worth reading too.

So are P J O’Rourke, Daniel Petre, George Orwell, David Marr, John Birmingham, James Burke, George Lakoff, Brian Eno, Lao Tsu, Sherry Turkle, Steven Levy, Neal Stephenson, Umberto Eco, Richard Watts, Paul Graham, Bruce Schneier, Father Bob Maguire, Matt Ridley, Daniel Dennett, Zern Liew, Steven Levitt… but you’ve just got to draw the line somewhere!

The aesthetic of Basecamp

I’m writing up my notes from today’s strategic planning session, and I was suddenly struck by the clarity of information design in Basecamp, our project communication tool. This really is one of the cleanest and most elegant user interfaces I’ve ever used.

Screenshot of Basecamp following a strategic planning session

Things of note about this screenshot:

  • The content dominates the page, not some loudly-screaming logo or “web page header”.
  • The hierarchy of the information is very clear. It’s immediately obvious which label is attached to which object, and what’s more important.
  • It’s simple, easy on the eye — so you can work on this all day.

Which all makes it a fine example of Web 2.0 design.

Plus for some reason I really, really love the way the photos of the whiteboard make a lovely abstract pattern.

Web 2.0 design

What is “Web 2.0 design”? Is there such a thing? Before he explains how to do Web 2.0 design, Ben Hunt points out: “In sociological terms, movements impact people on many levels: economic, cultural, political, etc. Is skate-punk about entertainment and sport, music and the music industry, fashion, or the breakdown of society?”