Silicon Valley’s single-use obsession found its most absurd expression last summer in the infamous rise of an app called Yo. Yo allows users to send messages saying one thing only — “Yo.” — and thanks to its charming idiocy, it became an overnight sensation. It quickly raised $1.5 million and was valued at as much as 10 times that, despite having, to put it mildly, extremely limited utility. Still, it spawned a series of other hypersimple applications, including “Lo,” which lets you share your location, and “1minLate,” which automatically alerts your friends when you’re running late. The success of Yo revealed a lot about Silicon Valley ideology: For all the changing-the-world talk, novelty frequently outweighs functionality.
Jenna Wortham, “The App Gap”, The New York Times Magazine (7 June 2015), 46.