Saturday, February 13, 2010

Viva la RevoluciĆ³n!

Thinking about my next steps, and particularly in a recent discussion with fellow survivors of Live365 (whose tagline was "Radio Revolution!"), the word "revolution" keeps coming up.

Perhaps revolution isn't exactly the correct word for what I'm looking for, but it's closer than innovation. I'm looking to be part of something bigger than me, bigger than my company and my product. Something where there's a large-scale change for the better in the way people do things, see the world, etc. I don't need to be the leader or the one who starts things rolling, I just want to be one of the players as it unfolds.

Maybe the right words are activist and movement, but of course revolution has a nice drama to it.

This isn't new; it was bred into me from the start, and I would say I've been doing pretty well so far. In my eyes, MetaCreations was quite successful by this definition, not in the realm of digital imaging but in the realm of user interface. You see the results every day when you use MacOS X or Windows 7. Perhaps Live365 was not a key player in the music revolution, but we were part of it nonetheless, so again, I count that as success. More recently, Seadragon is part of the revolution towards resolution-independent displays, zooming interfaces, all that. Time will tell the impact on that, but it's been a satisfying movement to be a part of.

One inevitable question is how is this all good for business? Well, I have no idea. Changing the world is my goal, and money simply a means to the end, not the other way around. I recognize the importance of money, and I value team members who can make it flow our way, but I know that's not my strength.

As much as I sometimes think I can do everything, I'm happiest when I'm collaborating with brilliant, creative, radical people; in short, revolutionaries.


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