The Command Line Comeback

In consumer technology, everything old is new again.

Another growing trend among modern alternatives to legacy products is the comeback of the command line, creating a user interface that’s both powerful and approachable to non-developers.

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What is the command line?

The command line is efficient, sure, but it is grindingly tedious.

The Macintosh, introduced in January 1984

The transition from the CLI to the GUI abstracted away the laborious verbal communication between humans and computers and replaced it with visually appealing, expensively designed interfaces.

“Personal computers are just too hard to use, and it’s not your fault.” — Walt Mossberg’s first column, 1991

Gif credit
  • Linear, a bug tracking tool and modern alternative to Jira
  • Command E, keyboard shortcuts to search and open any document
  • Notion and Slack, which put their core tools behind a slash (/) menu
  • Amie, the joyful productivity app
  • CommandDot, a “blazingly fast” scheduling tool inside your inbox
  • Height, a collaboration tool for product teams with adaptive workflows
  • Quill, professional messaging for groups and teams
  • Clew, a unified file system for all work apps
  • Slapdash, which brings your apps together under one Command Bar
  • Akiflow, which adds a command line for all your web apps

“We’re all starting to think — and work — like developers.” — David Ulevitch

We’re at an inflection point in consumer technical sophistication.



Investor at TCG Crypto. Alum @Stanford. Follow me @gaby_goldberg.

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Gaby Goldberg

Investor at TCG Crypto. Alum @Stanford. Follow me @gaby_goldberg.