This recent Airtable announcement page was quite interesting to me:
From a quick review of the page, about 75% of these features are actually already present in Fibery in some form:
- Two-way sync (this is almost a non-feature in that in Fibery it has always been the case, right?)
- Data map (sorta, combination of the database map and whiteboard)
- Permissions (more or less)
- Apps (Fibery Templates, no?)
- “Verified data”? Not sure how exactly this will work.
The biggest missing piece currently is “Interface Designer”. The coming Blocks migration appears to be fairly similar to most of what Interface Designer can do, though Airtable’s version may be a bit more slick and design-oriented.
But the main thing I wanted to point out here is how Airtable is communicating these things. One of the best examples, I think, is how they’re framing “two-way sync” as some great feature, rather than just a fundamental, baseline capability (“table stakes”). They are framing it in the language of the problem the customer can solve with it (Fibery does this already too, to be fair). The “apps” terminology is potentially interesting too.
I’m not saying they’re doing all of this right or that their approach is necessarily better. But I do think they’re doing a good job of communicating simple, often basic features in ways that make them sound more valuable, impressive, etc. If you view something as just a basic part of how a thing should work (i.e. “two-way sync”), you’re probably a lot less likely to call it out as a feature in marketing. So maybe there are things Fibery does that aren’t being trumpeted as unique, powerful, important, etc., when they could be seen that way if communicated in a particular way. Just a thought.
I also think there are a few genuine advantages, good ideas (e.g. Views insights), etc. to be gleaned from this Airtable page for possible future Fibery improvements. One thing I want to point out is the concept of “interfaces to an app”:
With our new navigation bar , it’s a cinch to navigate between all the interfaces of an app. Simply click on the different interfaces shown on the top bar to switch your view—all without leaving the current screen.
This is a good way of describing how Allow multiple Views to be accessed via tabs or dropdowns from a single sidebar item can be framed, or considered conceptually. Not just as a simple convenience, but as a conceptual grouping of parts of work, work process, etc. One could even imagine a workflow in tabs.