Easter Eggs

Happy Easter everyone.

I would also like to wish folks a happy Passover.

My topic today are Easter Eggs. Not the kind that kids find hidden in the back yard, but little features that developers hide in the software applications they build.

I love Easter Eggs in software apps and I encourage our portfolio companies to allow this practice in their engineering teams.

Easter Eggs bring whimsy and fun to software, something I feel that is badly needed and much appreciated by users.

And a good example of an Easter Egg, likely a result of today also being April Fool’s Day, is Waldo showing up in my Google Maps this morning. Well done Google.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Saw this and smiled.Don’t know where the line is between Easter Eggs (great term) and a full fledged feature/promotion.Per this seems like it is on the cusp.https://www.theverge.com/20…Love the quiet of a holiday weekend in the city and just came back from a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. Still and beautiful.

    1. fredwilson

      I did my walk on The Highline. Same experience. So nice

  2. PhilipSugar

    And it allows developers self expression of their creativity and control over just a little part of the software. Because for the most part they are slogging on features that they have not come up with. And again its important for some sense of ownership that they do have a say in features.

    1. fredwilson


      1. PhilipSugar

        IMHO this is what accounts for the success of Etsy and Kickstarter.So many makers who are craftspeople struggle under the yoke of people that don’t know and can’t do what they do directing them at work.Both platforms give these people freedom of expression. Hey you think their project or work sucks don’t buy.But the success is because so many people do buy.

      2. Max Greenwald

        Thanks folks! I was one of two product managers who helped build this. All credit to our awesome developers that worked for fun in their free time to make this Easter Egg happen. There’s a cool FastCo piece on the behind-the-scenes of how our Easter egg was built that might be interesting (https://www.fastcompany.com……. thanks for the post Fred! Avid reader of your blog

  3. Tom Labus

    Happy Easter/Passover everyone!!Some Sun Please.

  4. William Mougayar

    It gives an attitude and personality to the software.My old CTO insisted on putting something like that inside. Any other visible examples?

  5. kenberger

    As @SixgillBlog:disqus hints, this isn’t really an “easter egg”, it’s simply a special temporary feature. You didn’t need to do anything to find it.In computer software, Easter eggs are secret responses that occur as a result of an undocumented set of commands. They are called that because you tend to need to go “hunting” for them.A slightly better example, to me, would be in Android: go to settings, about phone, and on “Android version” click that a bunch of times and the current android version logo comes up.Still cooler ones are where you hit a sequence of commands, and entire games pop up. I remember seeing that in the 80s and 90s, but can’t remember an example now.

    1. William Mougayar

      Cool. I just tried it.

      1. kenberger

        For the Android one, it’s not done there:Once the Oreo logo comes up, tap a couple times then long-press until a dancing squid comes up.Nougat had something similar, had to do with cat food.

        1. William Mougayar

          I did what you initially said, and it worked.

    2. kenberger

      here’s one: do a Google image search for “Atari breakout”, and you’ll find yourself playing that game:https://www.google.com/sear

      1. Vasudev Ram

        Just tried it a while ago, thanks. Cool and brought memories of playing a PC version of it some years ago. I don’t think I knew it was called Breakout. The one I played may have been called bricks.exe or similar name.Speaking of games, there was a really addictive and fun game called just WA (don’t know what it stood for). Don’t even remember if it was on a PC or on one of those small handheld game devices with an LCD screen and a few buttons. But very fun to play and me and some colleagues and friends used to play it for hours.

        1. kenberger

          Grew up on the stuff, during the days of disco (mid-70s to early 80s)Atari and Commodore 64. You put a game cartridge in and used a joystick with 1 red button. Console looked like this:https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…and the cassette is on this page: https://www.giantbomb.com/b

          1. Vasudev Ram

            Cool. I had used a Commodore 64 for a while. Apart from using it for BASIC, I bought a book about 6502 assembly language programming for the C64 (it was written by a teenage (!) boy from the UK, IIRC). The book had the complete listing for a 6502 assembler for the C64 in BASIC using POKE statements with hex bytes. I painstakingly entered all those statements into the machine (it took me a few days, including the time to Redo from Start (#DOS joke) due to typos, and finally had a running assembler, which I then used to write some small assembly language graphics programs for the machine, like a simple drawing program. Good fun.

  6. kenberger

    Easter Eggs are also found in plenty of major movies. The key being that you need to look (sometimes hard) for them.Alfred Hitchcock appearing in a super quick cameo in all his movies is the best example. After a while he decided to put them at the beginning of the film, because he knew people would spend too much time not paying attention to the actual movie.Here’s a list of others:https://www.huffingtonpost….

    1. awaldstein

      Was listening to a FilmStruck podcast recently and they were speaking about just that. Too cool.

        1. awaldstein

          Dunno this one and it is good news to learn something new as I’ve read just about everything about old Hollywood.Just heard a podcast with this guy and bought his book for my next flight. Fascinating analysis of what is happening with movies and tv and the evolution and switching roles of each.https://www.amazon.com/Big-

  7. Pointsandfigures

    Also in scripts. Writers put Easter eggs in good scripts that delight and surprise later in the story. Aaron Sorkin for example

  8. ThatOtherOtherGuy

    Ah, yes, the day your super fairy rose from the dead. I’m so glad he is around to use his omnipotence to answer your prayers to save sick children and bring peace to the world.Can someone explain how rabbits pooping chocolate is related?

    1. Pointsandfigures

      kind of offensive no?

      1. jason wright

        yes to some, but there is a rationalism in it. is this the modern age, or the Middle Ages?

        1. PhilipSugar

          I know you think you are enlightened. But how about Pascal and Camus. I am sure that you believe you are more enlightened than these pure geniuses.https://rationalwiki.org/wi

          1. jason wright

            Everyone needs something in this crazy world we inhabit, but the something needs to be commonly constructive. History shows that institutional religions are not that. They are subjective networks. It doesn’t require enlightenment or genius to see that.

  9. Frank W. Miller

    For fun, visit slashdot.org. All the stories are fake on April 1. Happy Easter!!

  10. DJL

    Happy Easter/Passover to everyone and especially our fearless blog author and his family.Passover represents some key historical connection between Christianity and Judaism. Studying the history of religion is really fascinating and tends to enable other points of view. Jonathan Phillips “From Christ to Constantine” http://www.christtoconstant… is one of the most amazing programs I have ever watched.

    1. SFG

      Thanks, I can stream on on Amazon with my prime membership. Will check it out.

  11. Conner Muffe

    Snapchat had an Easter egg on their map too

    1. creative group

      Conner Muffe:Snapwho?Captain Obvious!#UnequivocallyUnapologeticallyIndependent

  12. jason wright

    What, no discussion of the merits and demerits of Bunny token? Feels like a missed opportunity…if we’re getting thematic in our thinking.

  13. Vasudev Ram

    The history of the other kind of Easter eggs (the physical kind) is interesting:https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

  14. Hot Skinny Tea

    Happy Easter everyone, Easter eggs, also called Paschal eggs, are decorated eggs that are usually used as gifts on the occasion of Easter.