Since it was initially packaged with every Mac shipped, it’s likely the majority of buyers used it as a quicky Rolodex, if anything. But HyperCard’s biggest win was a very low entry threshold for those who wanted to build their own ‘stacks’ – combinations of user interface, code, and persistent data. There were plenty of examples to suggest ideas, and all the code was open for tweaking. This did enable a burst of creativity by users, many of them educators and artists with no training in programming or database.
The proliferation of ideas created its own confusion. What was this thing? Programming and user interface design tool? Lightweight database and hypertext document management system? Multimedia authoring environment? Apple never answered that question. —Tim Oren —A Eulogy for HyperCard (Due Diligence)