writing > product > why don't these exist?
Last Updated:
4 minute read

why don't these exist?

Why Don’t These Exist? [Draft]

Last Updated: August 2014; cross-posted: on Medium

For the last couple decades, consumer technology has been advancing at a breakneck pace. The average human’s lifestyle has been completely changed from what it used to be 30 years, much moreso than those people’s lives were different from 60 or even 100 years ago. What I’m saying is, your parents probably wouldn’t have given a shit if their childhoods happened 20 years earlier, but you would.

In the last 25 years we went from the occasional geek dad owning the only PC in the village, to every other toddler having a smart device. We went from rotary phones in affluent households that can call 10 other people, to being able to communicate with nearly any human in the world at any time in any way, and being able to see them in real-time too.

These things are amazing. We never knew what they had to offer before they came around, but when they did, they changed our lives forever.

And yet, there are some things, that I’m perplexed, amazed even, don’t exist yet. These are by no means revolutionary things that would change the world the way the above did, but are small improvements that would vastly improve some existing interactions we have with technology. What follows is part-rant, part-product ideation, part “hint hint please make this for me.” For some of the items mentioned, products do exist that incorporate this, but the question is more about why it isn’t mainstream.

Bezel-less Screens

We’ve had televisions for over 50 years now. Aside from ridiculously expensive, limited projectors, every single other technology involved a bezel on the viewing face of the screen. Yes, we’ve made them thinner and lighter and cheaper and brighter and have better contrast. But really, CRT, LCD, LED, OLED, all of them feel a necessity for a bezel on the viewing face. Why? Surely, we have the technological capability to move anything that needs to exist in that 40cm x 2cm space to be behind the screen.

From preliminary research (I’m not an industrial designer for monitors) it seems it has been attempted and some even consider the bezel-less monitor the holy grail of viewing devices. But come on, we almost have fully functional VR headsets, humanity is capable of this one, I believe.

Imagine being able to actually have seamless multiple-screen technology.

Integrated Bike Pumps

A bicycle pump doesn’t need external power. It also doesn’t need to be ridiculously large or heavy. Why not just integrate it into the bike?

Alternatively, we could use bike-attachable pumps – something lightweight and sleek that can easily be attached onto the frame. The fear of being stolen though perpetually hampers the bike attachments market.

This MINI bike has it done right, as I discovered courtesy Minimally Minimal’s product review.

But I really don’t see why this isn’t standard on all those hundreds of commuter, mountain and road bikes (non-competitive-sport bikes) that cost over $500. I think those people deserve an easy-access bike pump.

The best online writing platform

A site dedicated purely to writing well, and reading good writing, without distractions. Where you don’t need to market your piece, it will bubble up to the top if it’s good, reddit-style. Medium.com almost had this, but then they reverted to becoming a pretty typical blogging platform, putting the onus of marketing a piece back on the author.

What it should have:

  • All the features of Draft
  • Collections: just a loose container for posts. Anyone can create one, anyone can submit to one. A piece can exist in any number of collections. A user can create and curate any number of collections. A reader can follow any number of collections.
  • Curation: A curator can feature any article in their collection, or use “auto-curate”, which tries to do an intelligent combination of increasing exposure to new pieces as well as showing popular pieces.
  • Follow: you can follow a collection, or a writer
  • Sync with dropbox: Inspired by Blot. Allows you to have the file locally, in a dropbox folder, so you can edit it with any text editor you like offline, and it syncs it with your online editor whenever it can.
  • Sign-in-free collaboration: anyone can be given a share link, and can comment on or suggest edits without needing to sign in. They can set a temporary username for the session, or just remain “anonymous,” or sign in if they want to. The comments and edits are maintained on the web editor as metadata that isn’t sync’d to dropbox.