Less is...less

March 1, 2021

Dispo is the hot new social/photo app right now. The best way to talk about it is to say what it isn't.

It doesn't let you filter or edit your photos.
It doesn't let you record videos.
It doesn't let you tag people.
It doesn't even let you see the photos you've taken.

Your photos appear the next morning at 9am after they've finished 'developing'.

The design encourages you to snap away, paying little attention to the crop and quality of the shot. It's fun! I used it on Saturday night and woke up to a roll of developed photos. It felt exciting to see what moments you'd actually captured.

Years ago I pitched a related idea to some friends. The idea was ot build an app called 6pm which only let you take a single photo at 6pm (local time) and then it would automatically post it to a feed. You had 60 seconds to take the photo then you'd be locked out until the next day.

Stupid. But fun?

Mostly, consumer technology is much more about what something doesn't do that what it does. Everything can be built now, so what do we leave out and why?

Instagram is everything wrong with society wrapped up in an app. V1 was perfect. V176 is a disaster. But, importantly, it makes money baby!

There is some thing we have to solve here. Creating things that are just good doing little and getting people to pay for them. Maybe we don't want to pay for digital things yet? Maybe we thing the 'free' tradeoff is still worth it. Some people get it, but it's a tiny percentage.

What happens with Dispo? They've already raised a bunch of cash so the timer is counting down to an acquisition (likely) or turning on ads/paid features (less likely). Or maybe IG will cram another feature into its camera.