NYT Bits blogger Nick Bilton tries to come up with lots of reasons why iPad is whooping Surface, only to be very politely smacked down by Matt Yglesias with the actual reason, which is first-mover advantage. However, Yglesias ends his post there, without making the very Yglesias-y point that Bilton’s desire to find deep, meaningful, and tech-related reasons is symptomatic of the sometimes-perverse incentives of journalism. You are a tech writer. You write about tech for a very prominent institution. There is a phenomenon in the world of tech. Anyone can write "well iPad was first." But only you can write "SD cards! stylus! user interface! power vs. options!" You have to press your comparative advantage hard, even when you’re barking up the wrong tree, because it’s your tree, dang it.

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