My goal with this blog

I write about relevant changes in the way that people use the web and how startups are built to provide services and products for this ever changing wonderful thing we still know as "the web." As a former entrepreneur turned early-stage investor, my greatest hope is for this to be useful to other folks that are like me in the hopes that they can avoid some of the mistakes I've made.

On the false dichotomy between content creating and consuming devices

I recently came across one of my favorite books from the last century: "Fire in the Valley," a tome about the history of personal computing. In the book, there are chapters that go back to the Altair, a machine which was heralded as democratizing computing even though it was programmed by flipping switches. The 40 column"toy computers" followed and set the stage for Apple's HGR graphics (a whopping resolution of 280x193) which shocked the industry with its cutting edge visual appeal and caused thousands of aspiring programmers the world over to learn to PEEK and POKE.

These machines were toys by today's standards, and yet we find ourselves these days whining these days about how much all of the new tablet computers seem to trap us into "content consumption" instead of "content creation." I wonder though whether this is not more about our state of mind— something along the lines of only bad carpenters blaming their tools.

Making musicJust tonight I came home to my kids— who spend their lives swimming in the types of hand-me-down gadgets that are supposed to turn them into content consuming zombies, using two 1G iPhones and a Nintendo DS to play different music on each of the iPhones to then record it and tweak it on the DS. In total, three content consumption devices redeployed for the sake of creating something. And to them it was all about discovery and magic.

I think we are hard-wired for it no matter what the form factor.