Why You Suck At Changing The World; Try Hardware

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade you’ve probably noticed that gadgets matter.



RIM is failing [gaurdian], Apple is killing it [mashable], Square is the hottest company in SF [quora], Samsung is quietly taking over the world [cnet], and HTC is making lawyers giggle all the way to the bank [ars]. Hell, writing software for smaller, slower, drop-able, and heterogeneous hand-held devices is now an industry [tg].

But, I’ve got news for you; if someone hadn’t figured out how to build them, no one would have an iPhone, or a Droid or even a Blackberry. Fact is, no one would have a refrigerator or a toilet either if someone hadn’t figured out how to make those damn things work – but that’s a point for a different post.

As with most things there are the things the smart people do and the things the incomprehensible masses do. I break it down like this:

  • The plebs write the other million apps I will never use
  • Some smart people write software for the monster truck derby loving bird watchers
  • The smarter people write software for timelessly sharing inappropriate moments, and stalking ex-girlfriends
  • But the smartest people figure out how to build the fucking machines that run these mountains of software [woz]

I’m talkin’ about hardware. Things. Platforms for tomorrow’s software. And inventions that really change the world. Maybe it’s a traffic light that reacts to its environment, or Gate’s new toilet, or a device for connecting things to the internet. Solve a bigger problem than can fit on a touch tablet.

My point is, software did not change the world. Hardware did. And without it, your software startup is more literary adventure than problem solving. Why build more stuff that people don’t care about? Where do you rank in the 100K mobile developers world-wide? Do you seriously think you’re in the top 10? Can you win if you’re not? Still don’t think that’s why no one cares?

There are more things that still need to exist. They need to be invented to move our species forward. They are things no one has thought of yet, and they wont be built in a text file or downloaded from an app store. The people who will conceive of and invent them are visionaries. There is a reason the Homebrew Computer Club owned soldering irons. And Jobs vision was never “imagine the possibilities of putting C# in everyone’s pocket” [oreilly].

Its always been about the hardware, that’s where the real magic is, and that’s where the future still is as well. The next industrial revolution can’t be coded.

So stop being just another nobody tweaking the same bits, building the same app, and thinking a few lines of code can change the world. Elevate your skill set. Move up the food chain. Build some thing that changes the world.

Wouldn’t it be something to see something you built in pockets word-wide. To see all those plebs writing code that runs on your hardware. That’d be one hell of a high!

About Upverter

Did I mention that Upverter makes it easier to design and build real things. Tomorrow’s pocket platforms and the most revolutionary hardware yet to be conceived is being designed in Upverter right now.

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