In 2011 the entire tech ecosystem descended toward entropy. Devices and services had a harder time playing together, and simply choosing what to use became an occasion for a flowchart. Some of the simplest tech questions — How should I send a text message to a friend? Which video phone service should I use? — are now hopelessly fraught.
There’s a big opportunity, in 2012 and beyond, for startups that attempt to solve the complexity problem.
“It takes these very simple-minded instructions—‘Go fetch a number, add it to this number, put the result there, perceive if it’s greater than this other number’––but executes them at a rate of, let’s say, 1,000,000 per second. At 1,000,000 per second, the results appear to be magic.” [Playboy, Feb. 1, 1985]
“The problem is I’m older now, I’m 40 years old, and this stuff doesn’t change the world. It really doesn’t. “I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time.
Technology is not changing it much — if at all. “These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I’m not downplaying that.
But it’s a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light — that it’s going to change everything. Things don’t have to change the world to be important.” [Wired, February 1996]
“I think it’s brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I’ve ever seen is called television — but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent.” [Rolling Stone, Dec. 3, 2003]