Tools as tools, not products

2014-11-01 1 min read

    I keep on discovering new use cases for Markdown the more I use it. My first exposure was when I migrated my blog to GitHub pages from Wordpress and Tumblr. Since then I’ve discovered GitHub flavored markdown which supports syntax highlighting which has been amazingly useful when blogging on tech topics or putting together notes for a tech talk. Just recently I wanted to include some MySQL snippets in a Keynote presentation and discovered the Remark.js library which lets you generate in-browser slideshows in Markdown with syntax highlighting.

    There’s this desire to turn tools into products and it’s refreshing to see tools stay tools. They are able to stay much more flexible and evolve organically based on the needs of users rather than a preset direction. Markdown is a perfect example of this - it started simple but has evolved to have multiple variations and is used as the base for many other projects. At this point it has become such a standard that it can’t be co-opted by any single product or company.