I will be blogging today from the Future of Web Apps conference in Miami.
The opening remarks point out that applications sometimes are designed by accident, like Twitter. It is a side project with no obvious need or reason. (I have seen this in science as well. Discoveries like penicillin and Rogaine were accidents). The value is found later (sometimes, since I still don't get Twitter).
Kathy Sierra is talking now about Cognitive Seduction. Why do people go to conferences? Most of this can be done virtually, especially the presentations and "knowledge". It's the face to face, the hallway, the networking. Life (to my mind anyway) is like billards. You need to ricochet off as many other balls on the table.
Great anology that Kathy made is about cameras. You buy it to take a picture, not to become a camera expert. If it is too difficult to use (like Movable Type blogging :), then you are slightly off the mark when developing software (or any product or service). She is talking about creating passionate users, but what she is discussing is Marketing and designing a Purple Cow. Making something usable. Thinking about it from the users perspective.
One comment from last night stands out: There isn't even Beta any more. There's release of a web app via invite and it's a work in progress (like Grand Central and 37signals).
Kathy is a great speaker and she totally understands how to create a great app/product/service. She is speaking at SXSW too.