Wherever there were Windows PCs in businesses, there’s now the web. Wherever there were peripherals connected to that PC, there’s a need for a new peripheral… just the same, but with a simple web API. Every time you see a dated PC, only running the back-office because of the peripherals hanging off it, there’s a product opportunity.
Anything that can be connected to the Internet, will be.
Telephones were invented for speaking, and cars were invented for driving, but the Internet was not invented for any single use. That is the source of its value, and certainly of its economic value. It’s why we need to preserve Net neutrality.
It’s too overwhelming to remember that at the end of every computer is a real person, a lot like you, whose birthday was last week, who has three best friends but nobody to spoon at night, and is personally affected by what you say.
Even if we remember it right now, is it even possible to remember it next time we’re overwhelmed, or perhaps never forget it again?
I received my invite to the beta of Newspaper Club the other day and ever since have been trying to work out exactly which of the many stupid ideas I've had are feasible (not many it seems).
Needless to say, we thought about how memorable it would be if you went to look at a house and the home-owner didn’t give you a simple A4 sheet with an address (yeah, thanks we managed to find the house already, so you giving us the address isn’t much help) instead they gave you a 12 page newspaper about the area. How well the school system is compared to other areas, where is the nearest shop to get some milk on a Sunday morning, a list of restaurants nearby, information about the parking discs and council tax, etc. If a home owner gave me a newspaper about the area and the stats looked good, I’d be sold!
The post is full of inspiring examples of this intersection between The Internet, print on demand and hyperlocal data sources.
Now, if only I could come up with my killer newspaper idea.
The Net as a medium is not for anything in particular — not for making calls, sending videos, etc. It also works at every scale, from one to one to many to many. This makes it highly unusual as a medium. In fact, we generally don’t treat it as a medium but as a world, rich with connections, persistent, and social. Because everything we encounter in this world is something that we as humans made (albeit sometimes indirectly), it feels like it’s ours. Obviously it’s not ours in the property sense. Rather, it’s ours in the way that our government is ours and our culture is ours. There aren’t too many other things that are ours in that way.
If we allow others to make decisions about what the Net is for — preferring some content and services to others — the Net won’t feel like it’s ours, and we’ll lose some of the enthusiasm (= love) that drives our participation, innovation, and collaborative efforts. So, if we’re going to talk about the value of the open Internet, we have to ask what the opposite of “open” is. No one is proposing a closed Internet.
When it comes to the Internet, the opposite of “open” is “theirs.”
The internet is one big machine.
- We started by linking machines
- Then we started linking pages
- Now we’re linking data
- Next linking things (like your fridge)