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Stepping Out
The New Yorker · David Sedaris · 6/23/14
The New Yorker
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13 min read

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  • bill - 1 week ago
    Sedaris, in 2014, on the old-school Fitbit.

    Before it became something you can use to send emails, it was just a simple, elegant pedometer. This is a great reminder of how wonderful technology can be when it is able to disappear. The folks at Fitbit really screwed the pooch. Had they innovated in the other direction (cheaper, smaller, sleeker, better battery, more privacy, *fewer* overall user interactions) they might have made a world-changer. I’m sure some people got rich on the IPO, but it’s hard to see this as anything but a failure, given where Fitbit is now. More isn’t always better. For obvious reasons ($), technologists never want you to graduate from using their products, although in many cases that’s a very positive outcome for people. (If people use Readup as a gateway to books, that’d be fantastic. The decrease in usage would be worth the loyalty/karma points.)