Love the use of the jar of life metaphor to talk about consumer attention! To overload the metaphor and go back to the original metaphor’s moral: filling in too many pebbles or too much sand and water FIRST actually prevents you from fitting rocks in the jar. I think many of the dominant social apps today are guilty of rock formation — more sandstone than sand as you mentioned.

For me, social distancing and having more days that look like jars of pebbles, sand and water without the rocks has driven home the point that I already knew, but didn’t practice day-to-day. Nonporous rock time — family, friends, meaningful work, activities we love, and our health—are worth more than an entire jar of pebbles or sand. Rather than creating social products that try to fit into the pores or become rocks themselves, how might we design a social product as water that can actually help us rearrange or gently reshape the rocks to fit more rocks in our daily lives?

Building the best place to get work done at I write about software, startups & running at and occasionally publish here.

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