Why Did Tailwind Take So Long?


I'm using Tailwind for a new project, and although I've used similar compositional CSS frameworks before (Tachyons, in particular), I'm loving the features on top of it. Which prompts the question — why did this take so long?

That is, why couldn't we have invented and used Tailwind a decade ago? Is it because the Node ecosystem was more limited back then? Was hot reloading less feasible? Why did it take so long to discover and promote the advantages of a compositional CSS style? Did we need an ecosystem of designers building and maintaining dozens of projects across decades?

And more generally, what simple improvements are we failing to see in the systems around us? And how do we find them faster — faster — to solve the urgent problems of this world?