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The Arc of Computing — Revival of Browsers | Josh Miller & Anna Song | Slush 2023

December 8, 2023
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Min Read
Last updated
December 18, 2023
Jenna Pitkälä
The Arc of Computing — Revival of Browsers | Josh Miller & Anna Song | Slush 2023
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Want to learn the best business insights from remarkable speakers at Slush 2023, but don’t have the time to watch the full speeches on YouTube?

You’ve come to the right place. Below is a summary of Josh Miller’s (The Browser Company) & Anna Song’s (Slush) discussion “The Arc of Computing — Revival of Browsers”.

(psst: the notes were automatically generated with Wudpecker's AI notetaking tool. If you'd like to check these notes + transcript + audio recording without needing to log in, press here.)

<p class="h1-rich">🤏 TL;DR</p>

  • The Browser Company's co-founder and CEO, Josh Miller, discussed the company's journey in building Arc, a browser designed to revolutionize user experience and create an emotional connection with users.
  • Miller elaborated on the concept of "internet computers," where devices serve as gateways to users' digital content and tools in the cloud, accessible from any device with internet connectivity.
  • The company recently introduced Arc Max, an AI extension that enhances the browsing experience by simplifying common tasks and saving users' time.
  • Despite challenges such as the cost of implementing AI and potential competition, Miller remains optimistic about Arc's future and its ability to differentiate itself through its unique approach to product development.
  • Miller offered advice for early-stage founders on implementing AI, emphasizing the importance of focusing on improving users' daily lives, paying attention to small interface details, and not overthinking AI implementation.
  • Looking ahead, Miller envisions Arc becoming a central part of users' digital lives and continuing to push boundaries in computing.

<p class="h1-rich">✨ Summary</p>

The Vision Behind the Browser Company and Arc

  • Josh Miller, the co-founder and CEO of the Browser Company, shared the company's vision to revolutionize the browsing experience and make it more engaging and enjoyable for users through their product, Arc.
  • Miller highlighted the company's objective to create a browser that users feel a personal connection with, similar to their favorite brands or products.
  • Despite web browsers often being seen as dull, Miller sees the potential for browsers to become an exciting part of daily life, given their essential role in internet usage.

Development Process of Arc

  • Miller shared the company's journey of building Arc, starting with the realization that most people find web browsers uninteresting.
  • Through extensive prototyping and experimentation, the company focused on improving user experience and making the browser visually appealing. This process involved exploring opportunities to reduce the cost of AI implementation.
  • After several months of trials, Arc discovered certain design elements, such as placing tabs on the left side of the screen and adding color, that enhanced the browser's look and feel.

Concept of Internet Computers

  • Miller elaborated on Arc's vision of "internet computers", a future where devices like smartphones and laptops are merely vessels that connect us to our applications, data, and tools residing in the cloud.
  • This concept implies that devices can be interchangeable, with personalized digital experiences accessible from any device with an internet connection.
  • Arc aims to facilitate this transition by providing software that brings users' digital content and tools from the cloud to their chosen device.

Emotional Connection over Metrics

  • Miller highlighted Arc's unique approach to product development, prioritizing the emotional connection users have with their browser over metrics and numbers.
  • He emphasized that products that evoke strong emotions and create personal connections with users tend to succeed in the market.
  • Miller explained that Arc aims to optimize for feelings, creating a browser experience that elicits excitement, engagement, and satisfaction.

Implementing AI with Arc Max

  • Arc recently released Arc Max, an AI extension to their browser, designed to enhance user experience and save time. This new feature was developed based on user feedback and represents the company's efforts to leverage AI technology to improve browsing experiences.
  • The decision to incorporate AI came from listening to user feedback and recognizing the growing importance of AI in technology.
  • Arc developed features that simplify common tasks users perform on the internet, such as providing quick summaries of search results without needing to click through multiple pages. This feature, known as "5-second previews," has become the most popular feature of Arc.

Challenges and Competitive Landscape

  • Miller acknowledged the challenges associated with their approach, including the cost of implementing AI and the potential for competitors to copy their features.
  • Despite the challenges, Miller believes that Arc's focus on creating a unique user experience and their team's ambition differentiate them from competitors.
  • He also noted that larger browser companies might face financial constraints in adopting similar features due to their reliance on search ads.

Advice for Early Stage Founders

  • Miller advised early-stage founders to focus on how AI can improve users' daily lives and make their experiences better.
  • He emphasized the importance of small details in the user interface, which can significantly impact the effectiveness of AI-powered features.
  • Miller encouraged founders not to overthink AI implementation and to embrace the opportunity to experiment with the technology.

The Future of the Browser Company and Arc

  • Looking ahead, Miller envisions Arc becoming a central part of people's digital lives, offering a range of features and services that enhance the browsing experience and save time.
  • He expressed the company's commitment to continue pushing boundaries and introducing new features that leverage AI technology.
  • Miller hopes that the Browser Company will continue to be at the forefront of the shift in computing, sharing their innovations and successes at future Slush events.
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The Arc of Computing — Revival of Browsers | Josh Miller & Anna Song | Slush 2023
Min Read
The Arc of Computing — Revival of Browsers | Josh Miller & Anna Song | Slush 2023
Min Read
The Arc of Computing — Revival of Browsers | Josh Miller & Anna Song | Slush 2023
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