Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Dissatisfied Inventor

Technology Innovation is Driven by Deep Dissatisfaction - Scott Karp, Publishing 2.0

Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.
-Florence Nightingale

Karp hits upon a fundamental element of any sort of progress from the old to the new: innovation requires someone thinking that it could be done better and then doing it. It's this rebellious attitude that drove the original developers of the internet to create a network of computers communicating with each other in the 60s and 70s to the first World Wide Web users looking for better ways to connect and use this new technology. Blaming the user will only get you so far. Yes, sometimes the user just needs to figure it out on their own, but that doesn't make up for a bad design or bad system. Firefox itself is a good example of some people saying, "Well yes, Internet Explorer works, but a browser could work better." A confusing or laborious interface will only push users further away, as it has done frequently with the Linux desktop. Once the more densely-minded programmers realize this all sorts of new technological adoptions will take place. It just takes people who are dissatisfied with what they have and believe something better is possible.

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