Dave’s Law of Feature Convergence [...]

In talking about Twitter’s suggested move to release limits on tweet size, Dave Winer responds to those who complain that they don’t want their products to look similar. Convergence is part of the product cycle:

[A]ll products in a space eventually get the features of all the other products. Most categories work that way. If Buick adds a radio, then so must Dodge and Toyota. That is unless they want to be at a disadvantage in the market. (Source)

If successful, new products create new cultural practices (e.g. listening to the car radio while driving, which leads to morning drive radio, etc). But the demand new products create is not part of the product, or the product community. Demands are functions of markets. They’re contagious.

In other words, new products create new practices, mature products meet existing demands. Dave writes:

It’s 2016, not 2006. The market for social networks is maturing. The good old days are gone. Time to go with the flow. Hopefully there will be something new and fun soon. But that isn’t Twitter, it’s no longer new. That’s the way it goes! (Source)


Heino Hibig argues what killed the digital camera was not that the cameraphone substituted for it, but that the smartphone created different expectations about how products should work that the industry did not respond to. See Camera Bump-down