About two months ago, Jason told me that he and his team at 37signals were working on a calendar. We talked for a bit about how other calendar apps suck a whole lot, and how he (and I) felt it necessary to finally build one that introduced clean design and a quality user experience to the application. In typical 37s fashion, they recorded a screencast of the calendar’s usage and posted it to their blog. Here’s a screencap:
I haven’t had the chance to play with a demo (read: I haven’t been IMd a beta URL….. yet!) but I can already tell that it’s a lot better than many of the other calendar apps out there which either suffer from a vomit-inducing design or a terrible user experience, or both. I don’t really know why some of these other calendar apps are so ugly, or why so many “Web 2.0” startup apps/sites are ugly, but I have a theory if you’re willing to listen….
….it’s a problem with funding. Say a startup takes some outside financing. The people who gave that company the money expect some ROI, and normally the plan to spend the money initially involves office space, hiring full-time workers, and maybe throwing a party or two. Okay, well this means the company is now interested in hiring a full-time designer, but so many of the very best designers in the world either work for themselves or run little studios with a few other people and don’t want to be “hired” full-time. Because the startup can’t convince a top-tier designer to quit all his/her high-paying clients and do one thing full-time, they end up hiring a B or C-level designer who can’t produce a high quality product. And there’s your dilemma.
Sound about right, or am I totally off my rocker?