Monday, December 26, 2011

Triumph of the Nerds

For all you nerds out there, I found these videos fascinating. All about the development of the personal computer. Posted on YouTube by TTVRewind.

"(1of3) Triumph of the Nerds: Impressing Their Friends. 1996 480P Documentary"

"(2of3) Triumph of the Nerds: Riding The Bear. 1996 480P Documentary"

"(3of3) Triumph of the Nerds: Great Artists Steal. 1996 480P Documentary"

As you watch this stuff, pay close attention to how the industry grew extremely rapidly because ideas were shared/borrowed/copied/stolen. There weren't breakthroughs so much as there was steady growth, building upon the work of others. Don't get me wrong, there is true brilliance in recognizing the values of others' ideas and more effectively bringing those ideas to market, in addition to the generation of the original idea itself. But it annoys me to see how some of those same companies now bring lawsuit after lawsuit when they're on the other side of the fence.

Here's a YouTube clip of Steve Jobs, before he got defensive:
"Steve Jobs: Good artists copy great artists steal" posted by CDernbach

From Jobs' own mouth: "Good artists copy; great artists steal. We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas."

It would be interesting to see how many lawsuits the old Steve Jobs would file against the young Steve Jobs if, in some parallel universe, they crossed paths.

Think about how Apple and Microsoft grew, ruthlessly/shrewdly (depending on your point of view) taking ideas from many sources. And how they now decry others doing the same to them. Hypocrites, all of them. There is a political and business lesson here about software patents and about government involvement in general...