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It is hard to compete with cheap and adequate.

What happened to the 90s’ coolest failed operating system?: What we can learn from running BeOS on a vintage Macintosh:

So why didn’t these advancements lead to BeOS taking over the computing industry? Others are more qualified than me to analyze, but from my reading, it seems that a key factor was difficulty with gaining traction. Users couldn’t do anything with BeOS until there were applications for it. Developers would need to completely rewrite their applications to work on BeOS, and they weren’t motivated to do that when there were no users. Despite the problems facing Mac OS and Windows, those operating systems were “good enough” for most users. Was the potential of computing being weighed down by the limitations of these OSes’ designs? Yes. But most users wouldn’t adopt BeOS just for the sake of the future of computing; they just wanted to get their work or web browsing done.

And herein lies the problem facing any attempt to build a better app or platform or social network or whatever.

When the current shitty solution is adequate and cheap/free, and when the negative impacts of that solution are separated by enough time or space from the people using that solution, you’re going to have a super-difficult time convincing anyone to actually switch away from it.

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