December 11, 2002
Learning by Using

A point very nicely put: Comments from Bob Frankston, David Reed, Dan Bricklin, and others: ...In reading Dan's comments on the TabletPC I'm reminded of the importance of shipping a product in order to learn what it really is. We shouldn't be very surprised that there have not been great advances in pen software since our attempts in the early 1990's. We've had to wait for more suitable hardware and a more powerful software base. Now that we have a device that is useful as a laptop we can start experimenting with the possibilities of the tablet. It is just the start of a learning process. In the early 1990's we had a chance to work with similar devices but the emphasis was on using the pen and handwriting. The devices were expensive and cumbersome for just filling out forms and handwriting was not a feature in itself. Typing is a far better way to work with the computer. But Dan observed that the real value of the pen was in drawing and direct interaction.... With the Tablet PCs we can interact with the surface and use it more like a book. One reason we had to wait is that the table PC is not, in itself, a major product and thus is built out of existing technologies designed for other purposes. This is typical -- it doesn't make sense to make major speculative investments when you can make incremental changes and learn what is really important....

Posted by DeLong at December 11, 2002 11:55 AM | Trackback

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