David Heinemeier Hansson

March 26, 2021

No more platforms please

We have enough social media platforms, and they are all broken. Content moderation is bust at even moderate scale, and algorithmic amplification is broken at any scale. We need a reboot.

We need to double down on the ideas of Web 1.0, and the tools that make carving out your own place on the internet possible. Not more platforms luring you with that viral juice boost.

Despite its obviously ominous name, "viral" has long served as the top trophy for the platform people. Has there been a better year than this to attempt a cure? Virality is a bug not a feature.

Ideas improve when they build slowly. This constant quest for virality might make good ideas burn 10x as bright, but also 10x as short. Everything just scrolls by, because everything is just mixed together.

Everything from everyone all the time is too much. It's unnatural and it's unhealthy. We weren't built to listen to hundreds if not thousands of people every day.

Tools that let individuals publish, but do not seek to amplify them or force them viral, give us that natural, human scale. 

Newsletters. Podcasts. Small-scale forums. Yes, yes, yes.

More platforms? No, no, no.

About David Heinemeier Hansson

Made Basecamp and HEY for the underdogs as co-owner and CTO of 37signals. Created Ruby on Rails. Wrote REWORK, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work, and REMOTE. Won at Le Mans as a racing driver. Fought the big tech monopolies as an antitrust advocate. Invested in Danish startups.