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We’re not building a web browser, The Browser Company

Published: at 01:02 PM

Apparently Arc is going to build “A New Computer.” Curious to see what that means.

We’re not building a web browser, The Browser Company

The Browser Company told us the browser was broken, which it is, and they are trying like hell to make it not suck.

One thing I have enjoyed about using & following Arc over the last few years is that they ship shit. The put new things out into the world. They take creative swings at solving web browsing problems. They’ll even preview working software to get feedback on.

It’s why this video, to me, feels so out of place. The ambition is exciting to see, for sure. However, the hype they are trying to create feels desperate.

Anytime I see a hype video espousing future conceptual ideas, I think back to this Joe Spolsky post from (gulp) 20 years ago.

In my personal life, I have a policy lifted from Marlon Brando, playing a mob boss in The Freshman: “Every word I say, by definition, is a promise.” The best way to avoid breaking promises is not to make any, and that’s as good a reason as I need not to talk about future versions of our products.

The Browser Company has been telling us for 4 years now that the browser is broken (it is). They rooted a real, tangible problem in a real tangible product. It’s why I’m using it. Heck it’s even written right on their site

At the Browser Company, we’re building a better way to use the internet. When we think about browsing the internet, we often ignore the browser itself.

Now the message is that they “don’t want to build a browser” but that they “want to build a new computer” and that their reach could be “massive” and a “platform that is just as big as the internet.” They want to “be a generational company.”

Look, they aren’t wrong. The SEO based internet is possibly going to die soon. Discovery on the web has been fairly stagnant for the last 20 years, and AI generated content is about to completely break it.

This isn’t a critique on mission, vision and the ambition that they believe inside of The Browser Company. But, regardless of their specific intention, they just made a huge promise to the market. Before I watched this video, I had no expectations that they would build a new computer that would fundamentally change the internet. Now I do.

I hope they do deliver on the promises. I believe that companies don’t sell promises. They sell tangible solutions to problems.