Sometimes I think the world would be a much better place if everyone just accepted that I’m smarter then them and did what I said. This of course is not the case, and I when I take some time to think about it – it’s good, I have no desire to be a puppet master like Steve Jobs. I am rarely wrong, but have been once or twice and often the fight is what makes a thing worth pursuing. But this fact does prevent me from changing the world with ease.
For a couple of years now I have been looking for a new project. I have exhausted my open source projects of all interesting problems, and I’ve been searching for something more significant – not necessarily world changing (though I do have world-changing ideas) but something that at least a few hundred million people will use.
The problem is – to affect a billion people one must be Bill Gates, or one of a handful of people in the world capable of inflicting such a massive change on the world in years rather than decades or lifetimes.
I have written open source; I have helped tens of thousands of people in small ways; I worked for small companies, not-for profits, and the man; I’ve been a consultant, I’ve been a teacher. But never did I have the power to make significant changes to many people’s lives.
I have one such idea, which I’ll keep to myself until I give up. It’s a simple yet grand idea, it would save people collectively a monstrous ammount of time and patience, it would not take a lot of resources to develop (2-3 years and less money than I have). The problem is that after it’s developed, it will be useless without overwhelming adoption. It will just sit there, ignored despite its glorious potential.
I have lived in this world long enough to know for a fact that a great product in and of itself will fail in the market. The necessary ingredients for success are called different things by different people: business skills, relationships, marketing, selling, lying, luck are but examples of the magic. Where the hell does one get these things? It would take me longer to become good at them than I’m willing to wait. Get a partner to do it for me? I’d need one smart enough to realise that it’s him driving the growth of the business, and not me, so I’d inevitably get screwed.
There is no ending to this post, sorry. I wanted to make an optimistic one but logic got in my way. See I realised that my personal growth curve, though wavy, is true to a formula. One could have predicted my status in the world today back when I was 6 years old. Maybe I’ll try to find some success metrics and make some actual graphs, that would keep my mind occupied for a while.