Data Portability may be boring, but it’s still important

Mar 4, 2008

Mashable features a guest post by Drama 2.0, about how Data Portability is Boring. He says the following:

“I’m sure users wouldn’t complain if there was an easy way to take certain data from one service to another, but by in large, I think the technologists pushing for data portability are trying to supply something that there isn’t a whole lot of demand for.”

To an extent, I agree with him. There isn’t that much of a demand for it at the moment. That’s true. The average user doesn’t really think about these things. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Before the 1970s, there wasn’t much demand for personal computers either. In 1943, Thomas Watson (chairman of IBM at that time) said that “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” In 1977, Ken Olsen said that “there is no reason why anyone would want a computer in their home.” And we all know how that turned out.

The average users aren’t the one who drive progress. The “consummate geek[s]” (to use the phrase of Data 2.0) are.

As Bob Gedolf said in TED, “Human progress depends on unreasonable people. Reasonable people accept the world as they meet it; unreasonable people persist in trying to change.”

Natural Selection

Feb 11, 2008

Natural selection is a constant process going on around us, in all species. As species evolve and adapt, the fittest ones survive, the weaker ones die off. It’s sad, yes. But it’s a part of the natural cycle of life. For adaptations to become universal – and effective – the weaker ones need to die off.

Sometimes, for progress to be made, the old things need to die off. Things that don’t work need to be cut off, and to an extent, thrown away. It hurts, it’s not always what we want. But that’s the way it is.