Last week, during my first round of chemo, I watched my oncology nurses struggle with very poorly designed care-coordination Windows XP software called—and I'm serious—Epic Hyperdrive. I am receiving treatments at one of the world's premier cancer research institutes.
Not only was Epic Hyperdrive's interface alarmingly bad, it often took my nurses several minutes just to reference or log one bit of info they were trying to work with. Clearly, the software wasn't exactly optimized to their workflow.
While I was being introduced to Epic Hyperdrive, Twitter was working on a new API that they announced to very dramatic nerd rage yesterday. As is to be expected with these things, the entire development community is shocked, enraged, betrayed, and/or migrating to a paid clone.
Of course, I understand why some developers are upset about the new API changes. And yes, I'm sure if I had built some sort of business or product on top of the Twitter platform I would be more upset about this than I am. (On the other hand, I also understand that if I ever build on a free platform, no matter how cool and awesome that platform is today, something like this happening tomorrow is the risk that I inherently incur.)
Yet, the more the entire development community complains and protests and expresses truly escalatingly dramatic, villifying rage over this new Twitter API, the more I think about Epic Hyperdrive.
We developers and designers are an extremely talented bunch, and we're capable of making amazing things. We've demonstrated this ability time and time again.
What me make has the power to allow people to do more stuff, do that stuff faster, and to do new, exciting stuff that no one ever thought possible.
And yet, at the same time that my oncology nurses struggle with clunky, antiquated software, a truly mind-boggling amount of design, development, and engineering talent is being poured—and has been for years—into creating incredibly sophisticated, powerful, polished technology that allows us to...well...tweet.
And update our status. And check in. And like. And favorite.
For years, we've been working extremely hard to elevate and innovate the landscape of Nearly-Inconsequential-Content-Creation.
Maybe I'm having trouble feeling enraged about the new API because maybe, just maybe, we have enough Twitter clients.
Maybe we've made enough bold new social media platforms. And friend feeds. And social publishing networks. And social photo-sharing applications.
Maybe there are other industries, other purposes, other markets out there that desperately need just a touch of the innovation and energy we've poured tirelessly into sharing the most insubstantial details of our lives.