In the past 6 months, I have really learned a lot. From school, econometrics; from work, AJAX on ASP.net; from home, how to beat the AI on hard in Supreme commander 2.
But this is pretty little. The bigger things I have learned don’t come from any of these, but rather, the interplay between the three. And so comes my new paradigm: The right way to design things is organically. I say this because of the iPad. I recently read that Steve Jobs first had a thought — a random idea of interacting with a computer via touch. Probably, he’d seen some of the tablet PC designs at MS. He then picked 1 person — not a team, but a single individual and asked him, “What could you do with touch?” Eventually, he got a tablet, and then chose to scale it down to a phone.
Steve didn’t have a plan for making a tablet PC. He didn’t have a team of engineers with specs and milestones working for years. He had a single individual, and a single question. This is the paradigm shift. Both methods work. Both methods produce. This isn’t a “Organic growth is better than planned growth” idea. A large part of the iPhone and iPad story was planned growth, complete with PMs, engineering teams, test teams, etc… Only a fool would say exclusively do one.
But the problem is in our culture, we’re taught exclusively to do one. People are either artists or engineers. Chemists or toolmakers. Never the twain shall meet. And it makes sense. The time it takes to learn one of these skills is immense. We bridge the gap in our culture via the organization. But then we face the limits of organization. And organizers face limits of their own. Nintendo was a little-known playing card company… So, the real entrepeneurs of this world need to focus on financing. They need to figure out how to get the 200K needed to put together an office and hire one or two of the best, and give them a challenge worth facing.