The future is independent

When I attended the lovely Beyond Tellerrand 2012 conference, I was lucky enough to catch Andy Baio‘s keynote.

He covered many things in his talk, but the one that really stuck was his demand that we all watch two documentaries immediately:

Indie Game The Movie tells the tail of three independent developers, and their attempts to make their own dream game, outside traditional EA style game development.

The three games featured are:

We are Legion tells the story of the beginning of Anonymous, operation AntiSec and LulzSec. They also made lovely timeline.

I can’t recommend each film enough, and you can download them both through VHX.

The final story that Andy told was that of his festival, XOXO (Kiss Hug Kiss Hug), for independent makers of all kinds. You can see all the videos from the festival for free here.

I am truly excited about the future for all independent makers – the devils bargain that was previously necessary to distribute your work has evaporated.

The Abolition of Work – A Ludic Revolution?

“No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.”

Bob Black writes in his seminal essay about what would happen if we had a Ludic Revolution. Thanks to Bruce Lawson (@brucel) for the link. More background here.

“Profit is the reward for correctly understanding an aspect of reality ahead of your peers.”

Above is a quote from Alain de Botton that I keep bringing up in presentations. Isn’t this the purest form of entrepreneurship – anticipating the future?

“I want to say, in all seriousness, that a great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness of work, and that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organised diminution of work.”

Black and de Botton got me to thinking about Bertrand Russell‘s 1932 essay “In Praise of Idleness“.

Can the Silicon Valley Vision be Maintained?

“Some people seem to think that getting acquired should be the highest aspiration for an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. I disagree vehemently.”

Vinod Khosla recently complained that the current crop of startups in Silicon Valley seems to be obesssed with getting accquired and cashing out – which used to not be the highest aspiration. As he says in the article “You are missionaries NOT mercenaries” – precisely because missionaries are the only people that can attract the best employees – the primary challenge of any creative business.

Sometimes I dispair when reading Hacker News that this is all that the current crop care about – but I guess this is selection bias, on my and their parts.

Which ones have the vision at the moment? IMHO:

Github – organising all the worlds code.
Dropbox – organising all the worlds media.
Vicarious – helping computers think like humans.
D-Wave – harnessing quantum computing for real world applications.
Planetary Resources – gathering resources from outside our gravity well.

And no discussion of Silicon Valley would be complete without a link to Steve Blank’s comprehensive Secret History.