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

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44 // Media empires with Dan Shipper

Nov 25 • 54:14

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 con...

43 // Storytelling

Nov 11 • 40:33

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....

42 // Self-made tools with Linus Lee

Oct 28 • 58:25

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 s...

41 // Local-first software with Martin Kleppmann

Oct 14 • 01:02:21

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 breakthroug...

40 // Filmmaking with Maximilian Becht

Sep 30 • 48:15

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 f...

39 // Expressive tools with Weiwei Xu

Sep 16 • 01:01:52

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. Pl...

38 // Calm companies with Tyler Tringas

Sep 2 • 01:05:13

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...

37 // Visual programming with Maggie Appleton

Aug 19 • 50:47

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 ...

36 // Text

Aug 5 • 45:25

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 Pe...

35 // The future of iPad

Jul 22 • 52:49

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 f...

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