Adam Wiggins, Mark McGranaghan

Tools for thought, product design, and how to have good ideas.

All Episodes

Journalism is changing, as newspapers and magazines adapt to being online and internet-native media empires like Vox and Vice upend the status quo. Dan Shipper is part of this as a founder of Every, a writer collective for business writing. Dan chats with Mark and Adam about the paid newsletter boom; the impact of recommendation algorithms on creator mental health; and content platforms like Wordpress, Substack, and Ghost. Plus: the pros and cons of antigravity machines. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Dan Shipper @danshipper Every John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed Irvin Yalom Substack Firefly Superorganizers divergent mode Nathan Baschez The Economist, The New York Times, Disney Vox, Vice the death of journalism editor dopamine hit Metamuse episode on social media yellow journalism BuzzFeed crypto Ben Thompson / Stratechery Ghost Pulitzer prize kids want to grow up to be YouTube stars Casey Neistat YouTube algorithm changes The Long Tail Harvard Business Review Bedrock Capital The Athletic Divinations The Generalist

Nov 25

54 min 14 sec

What do the Bible, TED talks, superhero movies, and Steve Jobs’ product announcements have in common? They use stories to share ideas, culture, and worldview. Adam and Lennart discuss this, and the role storytelling can play in product marketing and design. @MuseAppHQ Show notes the smell of autumn Muse is hiring Metamuse episode on our partnership model local-first engineer designer & storyteller the Bible superhero movies as modern myths TED talks Steve Jobs as a storyteller Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone (2007) marketing marketing funnel Muse’s onboarding dark patterns the medium is the message lecture copywriting hero shot html video responsive design CSS transitions scroll hijacking Explorable Explanations WordPress, SquareSpace Notion blew up on TikTok vignette aspect ratio Guy Gavriel Kay worldbuilding iPhone 1 notes app skeuomorphic slide to unlock BlackBerry iPhone 1 commercial “Calamari” Muse Pencil toolkit iPadOS PencilKit Metamuse episode on tool switching marketing design

Nov 11

40 min 33 sec

In a world dominated by mass-produced software, making your own tools is a way to take back agency in your digital life. Linus joins Mark and Adam to talk about his experiences building a personal software ecosystem; tools that are a reflection of the maker’s values and taste; and packaging/sharing solutions like Docker, CodePen, Replit, and Deno. And: is it possible for software to ever be “done”? — Linus thinks so. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Linus Lee @thesephist Surface Duo Nintendo DS Backbone.js Spensa (farming technology startup) Django Replit Monocle full-text search Ink (programming language) changing lightbulb meme DigitalOcean August (Linus’ self-made x86 assembler) Metamuse episode with Weiwei Xu situated software stream fusion in mathematics reverse proxy software erosion aka bit rot FileMaker Pro newline-delimited JSON flat dependency trees dynamic linked libraries Go static linking not invented here Hundred Rabbits lil apps Szymon Kaliski An app can be a home-cooked meal Lucerne (Linus' self-made Twitter client) TweetDeck Taylor Swift Go by Example multi-tenancy Metamuse episode on local-first whoami game modding Deno Deno’s sandboxing and permissions Qubes OS Docker container Heroku Buttons macOS .app bundles CodePen xkcd on modern software dependencies ProseMirror Metamuse episode on filmmaking curl maintainer has been at it for 23 years

Oct 28

58 min 25 sec

Local-first is a set of principles that enables collaborative software without the loss of data ownership associated with the cloud. Martin is a computer scientist on the frontier of this movement, and he joins Mark and Adam to discuss how creative people put their souls into their work; a vision for a generic AWS syncing service; and why local-first could be a breakthrough for indie app developers. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Martin Kleppmann University of Cambridge Debussy four-handed piano piece Martin’s previous startup, Rapportive Apache Kafka Designing Data-Intensive Applications Writing a book: is it worth it? Local-first software: You own your data, in spite of the cloud Ink & Switch Geoffrey Litt Pixelpusher the fish says “what the hell is water?” “crushing it” elevator pitch Google Docs realtime collaboration defrag your hard drive self-hosting an SMTP server and spam filtering thin client Peter van Hardenberg Pixelpusher Automerge “there is stuff you always use; and stuff that won’t work when you need it” Slack’s free vs paid message retention federation, mesh network CRDTs How we pay for software Swift, Kotlin technology transfer fuzz testing, Monte Carlo simulation local-first Trello clone demo end-to-end encryption Firebase

Oct 14

1 hr 2 min

The Muse team worked with Max and his film crew on the pilot episode of a new documentary series. Max joins Adam and Mark to talk about how making films compares to making software; why creative trust is the core of a great team; and why we should hire based on networks, portfolios, and auditions instead of CVs and interviews. Plus: 40 people stuck on a film shoot in the forest due to a forgotten shovel. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Maximilian Becht of Kosmovision shooting day post-production E3 set runner Film Academy Baden-Württemberg Zellenflimmern (documentary on media inside prisons) Making Movies Create: a documentary series by Muse watch pilot episode of Create with Katrin Friedmann branded content Marcus Hanisch (Create director) location scouting Jasper Techel (Create cameraperson) Moritz Drath (Create sound and music) professional network After Effects The Queen’s Gambit shot in Berlin maker biographies A Modest Genius (Charles Darwin biography) Creativity, Inc. (Pixar founder autobiography) Barbie and Ruth (Mattel founder biography) film screening the Hollywood model gig sites Christopher Nolan wide angle shots herding cats production manager “fix it in post" the null hypothesis suggest a protagonist for future episodes of Create

Sep 30

48 min 15 sec

Why are we driven to create, and to express ourselves online? Weiwei is the founder of Sprout, a collaborative creation space. She joins Mark and Adam to talk about how tools influence group communication and our sense of belonging; why we should make our online spaces feel more like bedrooms than stadiums or hotel lobbies; and why children’s tools have a special magic. Plus: Nintendo’s withered technology, Winamp skins, and cursor waves. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Weiwei Xu @weiweiwei33 Sprout monowheel scooter Dynamicland growth mindset HCI Metamuse episode with Jason Yuan MakeSpace Google Hangouts, Zoom, Facetime Miro Pointing in virtual spaces Slackmojis, Discord custom emojis Sharpies, butcher paper, calligraphy pens and markers Kindle sushi knives Deluxe Paint introvert Muse Backstage Pass Winamp iOS widgets engagement loops clickbait Metamuse episode on video games World Cup, European championship Adam’s homepage gwalb – grey with a little blue Citizen Kane, Mank, Jaws Nintendo’s “withered technology” Switch

Sep 16

1 hr 1 min

As the world’s economy is remade via software, some founders are finding the one-way ratchet of venture capital too restrictive. Tyler Tringas is working to expand funding options available to entrepreneurs via the Calm Fund. He joins Mark and Adam to talk about a return to classic good business practices; how founders can maximize their optionality; building an investment thesis out in the open; and how to be long-term ambitious. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Tyler Tringas @tylertringas Calm Fund Mexico City digital nomad, slowmad Earnest Capital rebrand bootstrapper, indie hacker building in public Small Giants episode brand episode lifestyle business The Entrepreneur’s new path of maximum optionality the peace dividend of the SaaS wars B2D two-sided market red ocean winner takes all craigslist, Thumbtack covertible note, SAFE Shared Earnings Agreement (SEAL) Calm’s crowdfunding campaign 12factor profit-sharing plans co-op carried interest Joe Wallin Calm Company Express

Sep 2

1 hr 5 min

Creating software is typically done in text-based environments—but would programming be more accessible with graphical programming tools? Maggie joins Mark and Adam to talk about the relative success of Scratch, Shortcuts, and Zapier; how to make the abstract visible; embodied metaphors; and the false duality of artistic versus logical thinkers. Plus: how to make blinking lights for your Burning Man art installation. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Maggie Appleton @mappletons Centre for Computing History Pacific Pinball Museum Nintendo 64 the noughties or the aughts React Scratch Zapier, IFTTT, Integromat low-code / no-code Rocky’s Boots circuit diagrams DrScheme Origami Studio Muse memo on infinite canvas with Origami screenshot LabVIEW Logic Pro, Reason the environment in Logic iOS Shortcuts (née Workflow) console loggings end-user programming: embodiment VS Code, npm, Ruby on Rails, GraphQL, React hooks cultural anthropology Geroge Lakoff, Mark Johnson embodied metaphors Dan Abramov Just Javascript pointers in C Redux actions _why’s poignant guide to ruby Learnable Programming Edward Tufte, Visual Explanations, Beautiful Evidence Graphviz DOT graphs jigs in wordworking Unity episode with Geoffrey Litt Flutter, SwiftUI XState Apparatus direct manipulation Dreamweaver Interface Builder Hacker News folk wisdom on visual programming Adafruit circuit debouncing with capacitors walk uphill in the snow Visual Programming Codex Whole Code Catalog

Aug 19

50 min 47 sec

Text blocks are a new beta feature for Muse. Mark and Adam use the opportunity to discuss the origins and philosophy of text in computing, including text as a datum in environments like wikis, REPLs, and social media; the writing workflow of collapsing spatially-arranged ideas down to a linear text buffer; and company memo culture. And Mark shares his vision for how the Pencil could become the X-Acto knife for fast text editing on a tablet. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Review Metamuse on Apple Podcasts Podstatus Cortex, Accidental Tech Podcast “going viral slowly” text blocks beta manual and memo Notion, Roam, Craft plain text ASCII art logograms The Humane Representation of Thought William Playfair Literature & Latte, Scrivener, Scapple terminal, REPL Man-Computer Symbiosis TTY = teletype Roam backlinks and knowledge graph view source Sublime Text Twitter was 140 characters for SMS episode about iPad emacs Org Mode, WorkFlowy Miro, FigJam, GoodNotes uncanny valley IPython, Jupyter Markdown Atlassian’s wiki “turn my ideas into our ideas” responsive design folio keyboard, Magic Keyboard iOS voice input Scribble infinite canvas beta → flex boards kill your darlings

Aug 5

45 min 25 sec

It’s been over a decade since Steve Jobs introduced Apple’s tablet as a “third device” between Mac and iPhone. Mark, Adam, and Lennart discuss iPad’s potential as a creative platform; multitasking, filesystem, and scripting/extensions; multimodal inputs; and the background process problem. Plus: why Apple should build its own pro apps for iPad to demonstrate their vision for the platform. @MuseAppHQ Show notes iPadOS 15 The Tragic iPad Procreate iPad with cellular network connection user confusion on minimizing vs closing an application Steve Jobs on the third category of device prosumer software iOS fork / iPadOS rebrand in 2019 the Dock, drag and drop iPad morphing cursor the history of mouse cursors keyboard shortcut quick reference by holding down ⌘ macOS Big Sur Control Center seems designed for touch Apple says it has no plans to merge Mac and iPad Surface Studio and Surface Hub Tony Stark’s lab Apple device wifi password sharing Universal Control to share a pointing device between a Mac and an iPad episode with Rasmus Andersson Macbook Touch Bar frustrating text selection on iPhone and iPad

Jul 22

52 min 49 sec

In today’s world, apps and their data are tightly coupled—but what if each person could pick and choose their own tool for use in a collaborative project? Geoffrey Litt is a researcher working on this problem at MIT. He joins Mark and Adam to talk about email as the original BYOC case study; how shared protocols enable niche software; whether it’s possible to design software for someone other than yourself; and how to accidentally become an expert. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Geoffrey Litt / @geoffreylitt “teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea” Project Cambria MIT Software Design Group Ink & Switch Human-Computer Interaction Doug Engelbart Superorganizers profile of Geoffrey including Muse screenshots Bring Your Own Client email as one of the first internet protocols Pine, Mutt Superhuman, Front, Tempo not many clients support video in HTML emails tractor attachments and the three-point hitch HTML meta tags for Google and Twitter progress enhancement reverse engineering ad blockers end-user programming aspiring programmer progressing from Livejournal to HTML coding PHP Hubspot, Mailchimp “toolmaker humility” from Balint @ Craft Solid accessibility in collaborative writing VS Code won the text editor wars “ed is the standard text editor” episode on video games Flash, Java servlet Changing Minds Bonnie Nardi ethnographic study of distributed problem-solving in spreadsheets Wildcard

Jul 8

58 min 33 sec

Tech product designers could learn from the immense challenges of designing cities. Devon joins Adam and Mark to share her knowledge and passion on urban design and economics. They discuss how open source communities compare to cities; historical preservation versus growth and change; the messy middle of public and private goods; wi-fi spectrum ownership; and what to do when the neighbor’s new building puts shade on your vegetable garden. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Devon Zuegel / @devonzuegel Order without Design (book) Order Without Design (podcast) episode on Seattle and Berlin urban economics, planning, and design The World Bank Venture funding in 2020 Paris city walls path dependence Miami Art Deco historic protection centrally-planned economy TCP/IP Manhattan street grid plan (1811) Eminent Domain 1960s highway revolts Discretionary Review Berlin rent cap artistocracy San Francisco’s privately-owned public spaces (POPOS) LinkedIn public cafe Sacré-Cœur Basilica La Défense Paris business district biography of Gustave Eiffel first-past-the-post voting seasteading charter cities Special Economic Zone Shenzen electromagnetic spectrum auction Georgism universal basic income air rights Prospectus On Próspera voxel zoning laws in Japan no on-street parking in Tokyo The High Cost of Free Parking A History of Future Cities City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism

Jun 24

1 hr 8 min

Pricing a product is one of the most difficult and high-stakes part of running a software business. Adam, Mark, and Lennart discuss the latest pricing updates for Muse; the pros and cons of selling through the iOS App Store; concerns with subscription payments for software; and why it’s important to be experimental and iterative with your prices. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Lennart Ziburski Potsdam, Germany Ink & Switch essay on the Muse prototype Desktop Neo The Cloudfall Muse pricing idea maze psychology of why most prices end in .99 conversion rate freemium total cost of ownership Things Mars rover software static linking Heroku pricing pricing books: Priceless, Don’t Just Roll the Dice, Pricing on Purpose pricing for the enterprise Notion previous pricing / free tier with 1000 blocks Sublime Text nagware We’ve Always Had Freemium, It’s Called Piracy Muse newsletter where we first asked beta users to weigh in on price

Jun 10

1 hr 5 min

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have transformed how we come to a shared understanding about our world. Tobias has been writing about social media for half a decade. He joins Mark and Adam to discuss velocity and virality in information dissemination; how to train your YouTube algorithm; rage tweeting; and how to improve the internet we all inhabit. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Tobias Rose-Stockwell and his writing MUD TinTin++ techno-optimism clickbait This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit The Social Dilemma The Dark Psychology of Social Networks Jonathan Haidt How to Stop Misinformation Before It Gets Shared Renée DiResta moral psychology algorithmic feeds System 1 and System 2 thinking dopamine hit dunk quote-tweeting The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority How to Disagree moral grandstanding episode on The Information Age the intellectual dark web “The internet is the Freak Liberation Front.” the food pyramid yellow journalism Central Park zoo escape (1874) Great Moon Hoax (1835) Prisoner’s Dilemma Substack Plandemic Free Speech Is Not the Same As Free Reach

May 27

50 min 29 sec

Great tools can enable co-creation between humans and computers. Molly Mielke joins Mark and Adam to talk about her thesis on the subject. They discuss product design as a fusion of creative and analytical; how consumer preferences may conflict with the Engelbart/Kay vision of computing; the emerging social norms of collaborative software; and why we should bring back skeuomorphism. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Molly Mielke Whole Earth Catalog and Stewart Brand biopic Abstract Computing History Hub senioritis episode with Andy Matuschak Kid Pix Computers and Creativity The Mother of All Demos TRON Balint Orosz on toolmaker humility episode with Nikolas Klein CVS and Subversion LaTeX Always Has Been meme flow state deep work operational transform, CRDTs Tuckman’s stages of group development the Satir change model Writely skeuomorphism

May 12

1 hr 6 min

Probabilistic modeling is useful for answering all kinds of questions, from assessing financial risk to making engineering time estimates. Yet spreadsheets are poor at this job, which is why Taimur and his colleagues are building Casual. Taimur talks with Mark and Adam about ranges as an intuitive way to estimate; the usefulness of Monte Carlo simulations; and the role of math in dating cave paintings. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Taimur Abdaal Casual Not Overthinking Airtable Drake‘s equation line of best fit “not even wrong” Flatland Monte Carlo simulation R closed-form solution RoboCup Slack (management book) queueing theory The Principles of Product Development Flow tail risk expected value gambler’s fallacy distribution shapes e.g. bell curve fan chart Samo Burja of Bismark Analysis meta-analysis preregistered studies confidence interval false positive, false negative onboarding episode A/A testing carcinization combinatorics two-tailed test

Apr 29

53 min 17 sec

Video games are often on the leading edge of technical, design, and social innovation in the software world. Mark and Adam discuss what productivity tools can learn from games including the culture of performance; tools like Twitch and Discord; and end-user programming via scripting and modding. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Seattle cherry blossoms episodes with Rasmus Andersson and Andy.Works Serious Play “death march” in game development developer experience esports Age of Empires II Counter-Strike FEZ; Papers, Please; Baba Is You Core-A Gaming Playing to Win the metagame the Olympics Nvidia frame rate counters Nintendo Switch Makepad code folding Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) Cyberpunk 2077 and everything is securities fraud Duke Nukem Forever No Man’s Sky and launch controversy Mass Effect, Horizon Zero Dawn Muse onboarding scripting, modding, skinning tower defense A Small Matter of Programming My Life as a Night Elf Priest World of Warcraft free-to-play (F2P) games Team Fortress Valve Left 4 Dead Steam Valve employee handbook Candy Crush, Wooga, FarmVille Twitch CGP Grey on Twitch American Truck Simulator Among Us, US congressperson livestreams consumer surplus Discord  T90 Zero Punctuation, Girlfriend Reviews Game Maker’s Toolkit Metroid Nintendo Power magazine haptic feedback Batman: Arkham Asylum / detective mode Tetris max-out score four-minute mile speedruns Twitch paid subscriber emotes Myst built in Hypercard Strider, Angband, rougelikes Lucas Pope, Return of the Obra Dinn

Apr 15

56 min 29 sec

Design and engineering polymath Rasmus Andersson joins Mark and Adam to talk about his new project, Playbit. Play as a means of discovery and learning; virtualization as an underexploited technology for making safe playspaces for programming; and whether macOS will still exist in ten years. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Rasmus Andersson @rsms Playbit What counts as a weed? maskros flowers “write access to your entire worldview” Jason Yuan on fidgitability Virginia Postrel on work vs play Rust Roadster in space foam roll “Adamisms” e.g. make it real Hobo Go, Go by Example slow hunch malleable software xorg.conf convention over configuration macOS notarization woes Chrome OS sandboxing GPU time-sharing write once, run anywhere macOS virtualization, Hyper-V, KVM Linux namespaces Ruby gem: bundle root user An app can be a home-cooked meal Replit Dreams The Cathedral and the Bazaar Macromedia Director demoscene, BBS culture MOD trackers Gameboy DJ performance Raspberry Pi flip displays teenage engineering Alfazeta flipdots vendor

Apr 1

1 hr 22 min

When you pay for software, are you paying for the data storage or the interface? Balint is the founder of Craft, a writing app designed for iPad. He chats with Adam and Mark about design conventions for multimodal input; why import/export is so important; and how to have humility about how your product fits into your customer’s life. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Balint Orosz of Craft Budapest: bridges, parliament building, castle Making computers better Skyscanner Markdown Mac Catalyst retina displays homeostasis multimodal input Craft on data ownership Ulysses I/O TestBundle format best of breed Instagram DSLR cameras, RAW format, Lightroom bidirectional links Excel low floor, high ceiling  iOS share sheet SVG JSON Visual Studio Code Google Photos going paid churn Small Giants Office 365 revenue via Microsoft 2020 annual report bootstrapping

Mar 18

55 min 47 sec

Agenda is software that encodes an unusual philosophy for note-taking. Alex of Agenda joins Mark and Adam to talk about being an indie developer; note-taking as a technique for calming the mind; and the benefits of community and learning tools socially. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Alexander Griekspoor Agenda easter egg Papers biology wet lab R, Jupyter, Matlab CodeWarrior open loops Parkinson’s law Drew McCormack Agenda community Zettelkasten deep dive on notes tools search engine optimization localizations by Agenda community volunteers authentic marketing “cash cow” business model

Mar 4

48 min 29 sec

A “small giant” is a company that chooses to optimize for mojo instead of growth. Mark and Adam describe how Muse was inspired to follow this path, designing the business model, team makeup, and funding source accordingly. Plus: a digression into tender offers and the fine points of US tax law. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Partnership, freedom, and responsibility Adam Wulf Small Giants S&P 500 Clif Bar, Whole Foods, Union Square Cafe Startup = Growth existence proof Signal, Panic, Vanguard index funds and ETFs Chef’s Table meme stocks Delaware C-corp Harrison Metal career capital revenue-based financing maker vs manager VC Math tender offer stock buyback dividends TrustCommerce growth stocks vs income stocks foundations: Mozilla, Apache, Processing, Wikimedia

Feb 18

58 min 36 sec

Tools for collaboration are changing team culture. Nikolas Klein has been a part of this shift in his academic work and on the product design team at Figma. He joins Mark and Adam to discuss creative collaboration including how guardrails can increase comfort with working collaboratively; changing mindset from “my ideas” to “our ideas”; and screensharing as an intimate act. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Nikolas Klein @nikolasklein time logistics for teams spanning US and Europe Sketch Runner Artifacts Schwäbisch Gmünd / Hochschule für Gestaltung CLUI Shopify design system / Polaris Telescope Figma hypergrowth user redesign of Figma comments sea shanty TikTok remix culture bisociation / Arthur Koestler hammock-driven development Sketching User Experiences OBS Studio ring light Zoom Studio Figma cursor Halloween costumes Designer News reaction to Figma launch people who understand the capabilities of software The Dream Machine

Feb 4

1 hr 7 min

Brand is not just a name or a logo—it’s the character of a company and its products. Adam and Mark discuss the memetic and emotive elements of branding; brand as tribal identity; and Muse brand values like thoughtfulness and curiosity. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Brand New history of the Heinz brand logomark Richard Branson / Virgin Pixar Nike / the Swoosh / Just Do It 37signals Tarsnap Sabaki the Muse newsletter The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding FedEx business biography memetic Notion illustrations by Roman Muradov Cragistlist and brutalist web design proof of work typography of Apple, Inc. packaging design on 99designs Harley-Davidson consumerization of IT and Bring Your Own Device BlackBerry, corporate VPNs administrative legibility

Jan 21

39 min 53 sec

How to prototype advanced gestures; how to organize your Muse boards; and how to spot good ideas. Plus, a peek at the long-term Muse roadmap. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Ferrite listener questions thread Balsamiq, Framer, Origami Studio Make it real infinite canvas memo reductionism spatial reasoning Growing ideas with Andy Matuschak retrospective Paul Buchheit Slow Software self-hosting End-user programming Minecraft redstone MySpace customization Figma plugins

Jan 7

55 min 5 sec

Maps can visualize space, time, biological processes, social graphs, and much more. Anne-Laure of Ness Labs talks with Mark and Adam about the multi-thousand-year history of map-based thinking, and how we can use maps in our own creative work today. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Anne-Laure Le Cunff @anthilemoon winter solstice Algerian food Ness Labs @ness_labs mindful productivity the Dunning-Kruger effect How to Be Idle Thinking in maps Cassiodorus Babylonian map of the world the map is not the territory The Invention of Nature Alexander von Humboldt’s Chimborazo map Disney business process map (1957) Krebs cycle floppy disc save icon D3.js Parametric Press Connected Papers digital object identifier (DOI) babies using touch gestures on magazines heads-up display (HUD) Scapple by Literature and Latte focused mode and diffuse mode / Barbara Oakley affinity maps

Dec 2020

54 min 3 sec

Jason Crawford writes about the history of technology and the philosophy of progress. He joins Mark and Adam to talk about technologies like messenger RNA vaccines, nanotech, and supersonic jets. Plus society-level questions like whether we are in a period of stagnation, how we fund maverick ideas, and why we need hubris. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Jason Crawford / The Roots of Progress / @jasoncrawford Fieldbook A Small Matter of Programming We Need a New Science of Progress The Torch of Progress — Ep. 13 with Adam Wiggins The Great Stagnation Bessemer steel process germ theory We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters The Rise and Fall of American Growth and Jason’s summary Where Is My Flying Cars? and Jason’s summary Luddites Victorian-era concept of Progress A Culture of Growth Francis Bacon growth mindset The March of Progress World’s Fair posters phase 3 clinical trials Hardcore History techno-optimism 1927 Charles Lindbergh ticker-tape parade Why haven’t we celebrated any major achievements lately? Academy of Thought and Industry Boom 747: Creating the World’s First Jumbo Jet Concorde

Dec 2020

57 min 46 sec

Thinking and creativity require privacy. In this data-intensive age, what does “privacy” mean for a tool for thought? Mark and Adam discuss product decisions in the context of digital privacy for the tech industry and society overall. @MuseAppHQ Show notes US Supreme Court oral arguments live The Right to Privacy (1890) LiveJournal GDPR Brave, Duck Duck Go, ProtonMail, Fathom Signal, Telegram TLS Clipper Chip Alan Turing and the Enigma Machine Local-first software Open Whisper Systems web of trust Signal contact verification Zoom end-to-end encryption whitepaper PGP telemetry PII cookie warnings browser fingerprinting Tor TikTok iOS 14 clipboard notifications Designing for Pragmatists and Fundamentalists Edward Snowden, Citizenfour Tails The Stasi The Lives of Others

Nov 2020

56 min 31 sec

Jason Yuan believes that we all should feel empowered to think about ways to improve our computer's operating system. He joins Mark and Adam to talk about stage design, dreaming big versus delivering practical products, and why software should be fun. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Jason Yuan / @jasonyuandesign Mercury OS MakeSpace Screenotate Omar Rizwan Tyler Angert Weiwei Hsu Desktop Neo Artifacts iOS 14 widgets Sketch Orgami Quartz Composer Android launchers Gall’s law the iPod click wheel virtual workspaces Dynamicland Bret Victor spring damping David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet Xanadu philosopher’s stone The Mother of All Demos

Nov 2020

1 hr 4 min

Andy.Works believes in design-forward products, as seen in his work on Paper for iPad to a handmade analog clock for his young kids. Mark, Adam, and Andy discuss products as vector for culture; maverick game designers; innovation budgets; and pushing back against the idea of scale in software. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Andy of Andy.Works Andy’s clock project Microsoft Courier Surface Duo FiftyThree Paper Paste No More Boring Apps KPI John Baldessari Muse podcast with Josh Miller user-centered design Frank Lloyd Wright The Guggenheim local maxima Making Movies Playdead / Limbo, Inside Oskar Stålberg / Townscraper Jonathan Blow / Braid Notch / Minecraft Jordan Mechner / Prince of Persia not the user’s fault Choose Boring Technology

Oct 2020

55 min 42 sec

It's a new world: many creative professionals can now choose where they live, independent of where their employer is headquartered. Mark and Adam discuss the implications of this. Plus: the magic of Silicon Valley, cities that feed your creative soul, and strategies for making big life decisions. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Emigration and other hedges Stripe relocation incentive and Zapier relocation incentive Y Combinator Amazon HQ2 Stripe Atlas and Firstbase Apple and Ireland tax case Amazon and sales tax collection

Oct 2020

45 min 31 sec

Jane Portman of Userlist joins Julia and Adam to share her expertise with onboarding. Why guided tours don't work, the legacy of Clippy, and drip campaigns that are more personal and considerate. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Jane Portman @uibreakfast User Onboarding: The Ultimate Guide for SaaS Founders Userlist Benedikt Deicke Intercom lifecycle messaging Claire Suellentrop, Forget The Funnel UI Breakfast podcast tooltips Inspire, Not Instruct aha moment Clue out-of-box-experience (OOBE) Samuel Hulick, UserOnboard, podcast interview Clippy call to action Val Geisler drip campaign tech touch A/B test or split test Max Seelemann

Oct 2020

48 min 49 sec

Josh Miller from The Browser Company joins Mark and Adam to discuss how to make a better web browser in 2020. The conversation ranges from user agency in software to architecture to social capital to end-user programming. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Josh Miller @joshm The Browser Company Branch Nate Parrott Einstein quote beginner’s mind Evan Williams Brownian motion The Roots of Progress Jobs to be Done David Adjaye Museum of African American History and Culture Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) HVAC Bjarke Ingels Abstract A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction Snap S1 Snapcodes Evan Spiegel Norton Commander Electron sociology web browser as Figma canvas CERN and the birth of the web Taxi Magic timing matters / Adam’s Heroku values Robert D. Putnam Bowling Alone Scott Heiferman Greasemonkey Rust

Sep 2020

1 hr 8 min

Andy Matuschak joins Mark and Adam to talk about rituals for deep thought, how to develop an inkling over time, and the public goods problem of research. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Andy Matuschak: homepage Twitter Patreon How can we develop transformative tools for thought? Michael Nielsen Bret Victor on representation of thought Quantum Country spaced repetition Anki IDEO iBooks deliberate practice Solitude and Leadership LiquidText evergreen notes exponential backoff Heroku haiku names positivism and existentialism deontological ethics intelligent tutoring systems ALEKS Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software Ivan Sutherland / Sketchpad Palladium Magazine mechanical keyboards on Reddit Pricing niche products: Why sell a mechanical keyboard kit for $1,668? tech transfer Genentech and recombinant DNA Dolby Pixar Why does DARPA work?

Sep 2020

1 hr 13 min

Lisa Enckell joins Mark and Adam to talk about picking a category, aspirational creativity, and the purpose of product launches. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Lisa Enckell Antler episode with Max Schoening Patrick McKenzie on North Star podcast Platform-as-a-Service containerization dynos serverless Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind Points of Parity, Points of Difference purple cow N26 Circles.Life silhouette iPod ads Signaling as a Service library of Trinity College Dublin The Substance of Style Marie Kondo Marc Benioff “It’s not when people notice you’re there that they pay attention; it’s when they notice you’re still there." DreamForce, Google I/O Ubuntu release cycle Wrapp 23andMe DNA Day

Aug 2020

43 min

The rich history of tools for thought stretches back to the 1960s. Adam and Mark talk about how today’s computing, from iPads to Twitch to AI, might help us gain knoweldge and develop novel ideas. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Tools For Thought How can we develop transformative tools for thought? bicycle for the mind Doug Engelbart Alan Kay Vannevar Bush As We May Think the two-step process for developing ideas Roam Research Thinking, Fast and Slow industrial-strength noise-canceling headphones white-noise generators in a Muse email update GPT-3 Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins generative design Twitch Discord

Aug 2020

41 min 21 sec

This modern Information Age can make it challenging for a creative professional to keep their focus. At the same time, there are many benefits to being plugged in. Mark and Adam discuss. @MuseAppHQ Show notes A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age the Information Age The end of mobile The Information Pathology The Slot Machine in Your Pocket digital detox the Industrial Revolution The Rise and Fall of American Growth Thinking About Attention RescueTime Screen Time Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World Center for Humane Technology Gell-Mann Amnesia The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority

Jul 2020

44 min 4 sec

Max Schoening of GitHub joins Mark and Adam to talk about principled design, authentic marketing, tools for thought, and more. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Max Schoening @mschoening end-user programming tools for thought SQLite US Library of Congress recommended storage formats Read the Fabulous Manual composability The Twelve-Factor App GitHub Actions ivory tower Trello / card aging Zen of Palm Google Chrome launch comic Things OmniFocus Exponent / Principle Stacks unix / everything is a text stream Overcast Marco Arment free and open podcasts Brave Signal Telegram Fathom Analytics the year of Linux on the desktop flame war khaki pants Daring Fireball Muse email updates no spinners Situated Software

Jul 2020

55 min 44 sec

Lachlan Campbell of Hack Club joins Mark and Adam to talk about path from research prototype to released product. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Lachlan Campbell Hack Club interactive media arts at NYU Real web development on iPad Fonts on iPad GoodNotes iA Writer Shortcuts usability tests Minimum Viable Product Notion software release life cycle Gmail beta lasted five years excerpting and wormholes shelf TestFlight The Long Now Steam Early Access Kickstarter Patreon Future Fonts Heroku Labs Gmail Labs iA Writer / Settings

Jun 2020

38 min 27 sec

HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) studies how people relate to their digital tools. Mark and Adam discuss their journey into HCI, how others can get into the field, and its influence on Muse. @MuseAppHQ Show notes You and Your Research The Art and Science of Doing Engineering Stripe Press Human-Computer Interaction Ink & Switch Xerox PARC Microsoft Research MeetAlive: Room-Scale Omni-Directional Display System CHI 2019 proceedings Peripheral Notifications in Large Displays Sensing Posture-Aware Pen+Touch Interactions on Tablets A Small Matter of Programming Strategies in Creative Professionals’ Use of Digital Tools The Science of Managing Our Digital Stuff Associative memory Ben Reinhardt and innovation orgs Brett Victor and Dynamicland Andy Matuschak and a new mnemonic medium Johnathon blow and Braid, Jai programming language Rich Hickey’s Hammock Driven Development Dan Luu and Computer latency Martin Kleppmann and Local-First Software

Jun 2020

50 min 10 sec

Developing an iPad app with a rich gesture space and unique spatial-zooming visual model is technically challenging. Julia joins Mark and Adam to break down the software engineering behind Muse. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Xcode iOS Simulator Swift Core Data Firebase Zoom privacy issue with Facebook SDK Ruby Postgres Heroku Choose Boring Technology Dataclips Gestures as defined by Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines Shannon Hughes / Detangling Gesture Recognizers The Omni Group GestureVisualization UIGestureRecognizer two-finger scrolling in Muse Muse design goals card-carry maneuver the inbox view hierarchy loading screens open-world games stylus swipe from screen edge to switch tools UIScreenEdgePanGestureRecognizer unix terminal ctrl-C to interrupt a program in unix state machine

May 2020

38 min 35 sec

The company behind Muse is structured as a small partnership. Mark and Adam talk about why the team wanted this unusual approach and how it's working so far. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Muse is Hiring an Engineering Partner startup employee stock options Netflix Freedom & Responsibility Culture startup founder Starbucks / Howard Shultz Google OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) Salesforce V2MOM (Vison, Values, Methods, Obstacles, Measures) alignment Management by Peter Drucker expensing exercise window vesting and cliffs dilution vest in peace cap table re-up agency Mad Men professonal services cult of personality Disney company transition after Walt’s death trial project / pilot project indie

May 2020

37 min 19 sec

Professional tools need a manual to explain how they work, but not all manuals are created equal. Mark and Adam discuss their mutual love of manuals, what makes a manual great, and why we chose video as the primary medium for the Muse Interface Handbook. @MuseAppHQ Show notes Muse Interface Handbook How to use your Rocket Espresso machine and make beautiful coffee Go by Example Heroku Dev Center Ulysses tutorials Working Copy Users‘ guide GoodNotes how-to guides Procreate Handbook Stripe API Reference unix man pages The YouTube Revolution in Knowledge Transfer tacit knowledge The Matrix / I know Kung Fu Building Heroku Add-ons glossary mental model Muse design article Capstone manuscript green screen Looom User Guide RTFM out-of-box experience (OOBE) Bear Notion templates vi

Apr 2020

37 min 56 sec

Ideas are foundational for creative and knowledge work. Mark and Adam talk about fodder, making time to ideate, and the value of fresh surroundings. @MuseAppHQ Show notes ideation House M.D. Where Good Ideas Come from video essays active reading Moleskine Field Notes post-it notes commonplace book OmniGraffle MindNode Google Keep Bear Drafts Shape Up Pocket Dropbox Goodreads Cowen‘s Second Law Slow Software Wiggins‘ Law breadth-first vertical slice state of flow Deep Work academic sabbatical Getting Things Done mindfulness

Apr 2020

40 min 42 sec

Muse has a modeless interface with no onscreen toolbars. Mark and Adam talk about the long research journey that led us here. @MuseAppHQ Show notes modelessness The Humane Interface administrative debris quasimode tablet platforms command glyphs Muse design article Procreate Paper by FiftyThree Apple Human Interface Guidelines Ink & Switch Surface Studio Surface Dial Google Jamboard Catalyst Xerox PARC Bell Labs Concepts technical pens Looom Teenage Engineering ortho remote Wacom tablets

Mar 2020

42 min 1 sec