A Beautiful Mind

The worlds in the mind of other people.

In her amazing classic Dr. Carlota Perez talks about the dynamics and the impact of disruptive technologies on the modern society. Dr. Perez discusses the general trends that follow a disruptive technology and this pattern is repeating in the internet-era. There are two phases that start the tech revolutions associated with any disruptive technology. The first one is the installation phase, where the core-infrastructure for a technology is being developed and matures (for instance search engines). The second is the deployment phase that moves up the stack to builds services on top of the infrastructure where new industries adopt the infrastructure and develop it further into their own subdomain (for instance searching for best prices on products).

So what next? What happens after a small portion of the deployment phase has been completed and we see stable technology in our society? The third phase moving up the stack will be technologies that enable a deep cultural change1 and tap into other people’s mind. Noah Smith(@Noahpinion) wrote a great article on this in Bloomberg and there’s one part from it that I want to share here:

I believe that the advent of social technology is a huge step toward solving the really big, really tough problems of humanity. The ability to connect with old friends and meet romantic partners late in life isn’t as spectacular as the ability to fly to Mars, but if you think about it, Mars is just a ball of rock and ice. Here on Earth, there are much vaster worlds to explore: the worlds in other people’s minds.

On Earth, we are only beginning to make progress towards the third phase: A slow descent into exploring the beautiful mind and the impact social media can have on us as individuals

Photo credit: Economist

Software eats the world and data structures the world. Social media enabling the deeper cultural change is just a straight-forward effect of data structuring the world. The data we obtain from a lower-stack layer of the underlying tech allows us to go a step beyond and add on a full stack2 of non-tech components to our tech startup to offer a full experience. That’s what will redefine human life. That’s what will create a cultural change. That’s what will solve the tough problems within our minds.

We often talk about concepts like user-experience in design, but social media is still growing up and social media has the power to create a better life-experience for us users.

  1. Inspired by Chris Dixon’s post 

  2. Full stack startups are just becoming better known. The idea is that first you build a core-service or use an existing idea as a core-service and then you start to build more and more components (sometimes even non-tech components) around it to offer a complete experience.