We need more whimsical products

26 Jul 2023

Have you ever seen Maxim Vengerov play? If not, check out one of my favorite performances of his:

Here’s another with Itzhak Perlman:

A third with Ray Chen:

And for good measure, here’s a fourth from Hilary Hahn:

Okay, I mostly just wanted to share some of my favorite violinists, but I also wanted to talk about why I like them so much and how that reason also propagates into why I like certain products just the same.

If you look closely, each of these violinists have a certain whimsical nature to their playing. This isn’t to say their playing is funny, but it’s playful (even for such an intense piece as Ysaye 3), it has an interest to it that’s plastered all over their face in their playing and then rebounds into their sound - it’s electric to watch. If you have a few spare moments, I really encourage you to take some time to watch the performances above.

Whether it was this whimsical nature that has made them stand out originally, or it came out because they’re so good, I don’t know. But I am willing to bet that it is more of the former than the latter.

This same idea translates directly to some products I enjoy using just because the creator took the time to add in some whimsy to it. One I quite like, and use regularly, is Pocketbase. Let’s look:


How fun is that! Let’s take a look at another. Here’s Bearblog:


Let’s take a look at a third - Posthog. I mean, just look at their homepage, whimsy is all over the place and I’m here for it.

posthog1 posthog2 posthog3 posthog4

Software can come across so serious sometimes, but when I think the products that really appeal to me, they are ones that don’t take themselves so seriously. It adds some humanity and fun back into the software world. If you know of more products that have whimsy like this, I’d love to hear about them!

Okay, just one more because the sites made on it really capture that early internet aesthetic: mmm.page