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Making a fresh and wonderful product out of something old and stale


Just wanted to point out a few things that caught my eye lately as examples of products that have been around for ages, traditionally presented in a old and stale way, that have been resurrected into new, modern interpretations, and those presentations, in themselves, have differentiated the products, and made them into something special.

One is thepaperwall.com. Wallpaper repositories have been around for as long as HTML had the tag. They’re next to shareware repos and website template junk sites as the used-car lots of the internet. But the folks at BrightBox have turned that old, stale concept into something fresh and beautiful. I spent tons of time on thepaperwall.com – they just made browsing those wallpapers into a wonderful experience. I think the site serves as a portfolio piece for the company; they’re a web dev consultancy from what I understand.

The other one is forecast.io. I don’t know if these guys are VC-backed or bootstrapped, but it’s just wonderful what they did with just a simple concept like weather forecasting. The site is clean, well-built, functional, plus they put in an developer API, and it looks like some other interesting bits. Even their sponsorship “policies” are thought-through, not allowing anything but a single hand-picked sponsor each week. I think @ianlandsman was a sponsor for a while on there. He can probably add more info. But it just seems like a great example of a fresh take on an otherwise stale concept that’s been done a million times by a million people, but none as well as these guys.

I’m not affiliated with either of these companies or products; just been visiting these sites frequently, lately, and I thought it would be nice to show them as examples of how presentation can make a great product out of something stale or seemingly too simple.


I also think the software we’re using for this forum is the same thing. Nearly all forum software is junk, but Discourse (http://www.discourse.org/) has made it usable again, even if it is Rails based :smile:


forecast.io is also one of my favorite sites. It’s by the Dark Sky people, which was a kickstarted project (I guess that’s somewhere between VC and bootstrapped?)