March 14, 2012

Loyalty and Instapaper

Jim Dalrymple, writing for The Loop:

“Rian van der Merwe:

My loyalty comes from the fact that I’m unable to separate Instapaper from its creator, Marco Arment.

And it works really well.“

Yep, that’s a quote of a quote, the sight of which is usually an indication that a weblog writer is about make a lazy post. It got me thinking about Instapaper, though, so here we go.

I’ve been using that application for a couple of years now. I’ve been listening to Instapaper author Marco Arment’s weekly podcast musings for as long as he’s produced one, too. As van der Merwe writes, it’s hard to separate the app from the author.

That’s because Marco is not only a successful developer, but a thoughtful and pragmatic entrepreneur as well. Though occasionally not what you’d expect from an software author (he advises settling a wrong-headed software patent suit out of court rather than bankrupt yourself fighting it), his ideas and opinions on making independent software development a life choice are borne out by the evidence of Instapaper. He’s the poster boy for good software design and difficult choices carried through to a functional software tool, and the ease of making a living though the iOS App Store.

In short, becoming familiar with the author made me want to use his product all the more.