Solutions that do not require to have an account look more robust and stable
Shared by Raubo · 18d ago · 7 comments

In the past when we bought an app, which then was on a CD, it felt like you really have this. It felt like it really belongs to you. Now, when the current form of getting services works as a subscription, we, in fact, do not own the app itself, but the app's account. This not only make that significant number of apps we have installed does not belong to us, but primarily emphasizes such a feeling. In my opinion, the feature that makes this is the need to sign up for the apps' accounts because in this way what we really buy today is not the app itself, but just an access to it.

To notice this fact and its effects we should look closer to things that may be seen as opposite: to use a physical calculator, a notebook, an MP3 player or an external hard drive we do not need to register anywhere. For listening a radio we just need to have one and a dishwasher, a washing machine and a fridge works without taking any of our data. In the past, old phones also worked in a similar way - we just needed a SIM card and that was it. Neither Google account nor Apple ID was required.

To me, the services that for working require an account neither look robust nor stable. I do not trust Notion the way I trust my native text editor. I do not trust Figma with my files stored on somebody's computer the way I trust Gimp with my files stored on my hard drive. What is more, I do not even feel like they are my apps (in contrast to e.g. Gimp). I just have an access to it. Because of that, since I am not emotionally attached to it, switching to a different one is super easy.

What are your thoughts on it?

adamokon · 12d ago

I think there are PROs and CONs to each of the ways.

Having piece of software written on your storage device on you computer gives you the feeling of "having" it.
While it is related to physical representation (electrical charges on SSD, magnetic particles on HDD), that can be easily changes by any error of hardware failure. Is it really having it - some charges or magnetic dipoles?
The difference in SaaS solution is that the software is not held on your premises, but all other elements are the same.
Still hardware or software can fail, the difference in SaaS is that it comes with provider's guarantee to fix it if so, take care about updates, availability, backups if applicable and so on.

What I want to say is that that is probably some remnant of our humans' psyche functionality, to perceive that having something "at home" is worth more than "somewhere else", but I think it is not effectively much applicable for software. Might work for hatchet, the bucket or other tools people use physically.

There is a factor of the access (internet connection) needed to use the SaaS software, but I think the risk of losing access might be outbalanced by other risks that we have using the software installed locally.

ashleykimler · 16d ago

I mean... This is part of the beauty of being a SaaS owner... you let people use YOUR app. From a user perspective, I don't think switching to a new app is "easy," per se. If you have an app that works well for you, why would you switch? That would require you take the time to learn a new platform. On the other hand, if you were to build something more stable for its use case than what's currently available, then there is probably a market for it -- there is certainly a market for native text editors and Gimp.

kendsouza · 18d ago

Mmmm.. you could have posted this to your native text editor and kept looking at it....yet you choose to post your ramblings on something which requires accounts ...what gives?:)

user_1234 · 8d ago

Haha can't agree enough

Sendoff · 16d ago

Pioneer really should rename this to rambletier or moderate new users

user_1234 · 8d ago

Right · 18d ago

Ultimately nothing in computing should be considered owned unless you have control over the code running it. The whole stack code, from the code running the hardware all the way through the application itself.