diego's weblog

there and back again


 What’s n3xt? Let me start by saying that if you’re looking for a 30-second answer, or a quick pitch, or some shortcut to a category (“it’s like Tinder for piano tuners!”), or something along those lines, you will probably be disappointed.

For new products or technologies there’s this pervasive idea that if people can’t figure out what your thing does in 30 seconds, then you’re toast. Done. Or that if you can’t explain why something is valuable in a single sentence you haven’t distilled the concept enough.

That’s true in some areas. There’s value in brevity, sure. But brevity can also be a straightjacket. It forces us to use shortcuts, makes us dependent on analogies and pre-existing categories. It creates a rigid set of constraints that limit the possible complexity of the message and subsequent discourse.

I understand that this is sort of breaking “the rules”, such as they are and that in doing so I might not be able to reach some people. That’s ok. I do this not for novelty or to ‘be original’ or whatever, but rather because I believe that complexity isn’t a vice and if we end up only communicating ideas that can fit in a bumper sticker it will become increasingly difficult to tackle the challenges that lay in front of us. I also believe that the extra effort and time will be worth it.

So, with that in mind…

Bits are fusing with atoms. Sensors and screens are proliferating, and along with them storage, networking and compute power.

Devices are becoming more specialized in both form and function.

And the world in which pixelated rectangles are the only pathway to our data will be gone.

In time, applications as we know them today will no longer exist. The Facebook News Feed is a great example of what the post-app world looks like in two dimensions.

In it we don’t see apps.

We see photos, messages, likes. Data plus context.


N3xt is software that runs on personal devices — phones, tablets, laptops, TVs, etc. It creates a personal mesh network that makes it easier to share data between devices, and it can expand outward to create circles of trust with peers connected not only based on geography or network topology but also real relationships between people. It can consume data from different sources and aggregate it in a way that can only be done client-side, creating context and connections across disparate services and data sources that would not be feasible otherwise. Leveraging context to show only the data that’s relevant allows us to break away from one-dimensional navigational mechanisms like lists or scrolling that become necessary when, unable to determine what is important, we just present a whole list of items that only might be.

Thanks for taking the time to read this far. Much more will be coming soon. In the meantime, you can follow me @diegodoval and @n3xtapp or send questions via email.

PS: www.whatsn3xt.com will be expanding. Not much going on there right now. I’ll talk about why in more detail in a future post.

(cross-posted to my medium.)

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