Post Facebook: Let's invent big once again
20 years ago, a smartphone in your pocket tied to the knowledge of the world was unimagined. Today, every new Web startup is "like Facebook, but..." and the Space Shuttle is mothballed.
Alexis Madrigal in The Atlantic says, "The Jig Is Up: Time to Get Past Facebook and Invent a New Future." We built the Internet, the Web, the mobile Web, and social networking. Now everything new looks like "Facebook, but ..." or copies the iPhone. VC-backed free websites lose money faster as they get popular, meaning more advertising or acquisition. Are we too stunned by our success to take the next step?
Author Neal Stephenson, in an interview in Technology Review, takes some of the blame. Science Fiction has turned dark, perhaps discouraging budding scientists and engineers. Stephenson promises to work on being optimistic, and launched the Heiroglyph Project to push plausibly optimistic SF. We can't keep waiting for advancements to make future projects easier, he says, we need to get to work.
The culture of investment is completely broken if you want to do something off their radar. The culture of "move to Mountain View and we'll do business" has got to stop. The culture of "we don't know anything about hardware" (ironic, given the name of the place) has got to stop.
Aaron Huslage on theatlantic.com
SpaceX just announced that they got the green light for their first space station mission, at costs so low even the Chinese government doesn't think they can compete.
Francois Baldassari on theatlantic.com
It could very well be that the next game-changer is already out there and we just don't know it yet. What could it be? Well I don't know... Google self-driving car? Khan Academy? Square?
dude_abides on news.ycombinator.com
DisneyWorld Mars, anyone?