New Versions for Old

God and I were talking about the computer industry the other day, about the big consumer facing companies. God asked me how many tries it generally took for Microsoft to get things right. I was tempted, of course, to say that they never do, but in fairness, when I really look at it, it’s usually about the third version of something that Microsoft gets it more or less right.

Then God asked me about Apple and the fanboy in me wants to jump out and say that Apple gets it right, right out of the gate, but again, if I really look at it they don’t, but they usually have something really good on the second version.

So then God asked me about Google and Facebook. Well a trend was clear, from three to two, to…? The trend suggested that I could expect God to want me to answer “one,” to say that Google and Facebook get it right the first time. I wasn’t buying it though, so I thought hard again and I realized that you can’t tell what try it is when they get something right. Unlike Apple and Microsoft, Google and Facebook aren’t putting out discretely packaged things. They have the advantage that most of their product lives on the server side of the client/server relationship so they don’t have to put out new versions in a discrete fashion, they can slip in little improvements here and there until one day you realize that things are working better than they used to but you don’t really remember when the problems you used to have went away.

I asked God if this was some sort of parable. I asked what the moral was, what was the lesson I was supposed to learn. She told me there wasn’t any, it was just something she noticed. I’m not convinced that was true, but what am I going to do, call God a liar?

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