Harder, easier and more convenient

Consider the windows on a car.

First, they were manually clipped into place.

And then they were hand-rolled into position. But that was too difficult.

So the electric window was born.

But holding your finger on the button for 10 seconds was onerous, so now, it’s automatic.

It’s easy to see the trend toward convenience in many areas of our lives. Tim Wu has pointed out that people will trade privacy, money or friendships in exchange for convenience.


There’s a countertrend. Sourdough is far less convenient than buying a loaf of Wonder bread. Running a marathon is less convenient than driving to wherever it is you’d like to go. And the best programmers still code by hand, even though there are plenty of apps that would make it easier to create average user interactions.

The battle for most convenient is fierce. It might be easier to stake out your claim to interactions and products that are less convenient, but worth it.