REBOL Technologies

Philosophical Noise?

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
13-Mar-2008 20:47 GMT

Article #0353
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Various users ask me to post more philosophical-style blogs from time to time here...

While it is true I live in the philosophic zone to develop new ideas and concepts, I do not write much about that part of my life.

To me, such things can become "all talk" and "no product". You know what I mean -- especially those of you who have experienced the post-Amiga years.

Yes, as you well know from the Internet in general, and blogs in particular, talk is worth the bytes it is stored in. That is: not much. These days it is so easy to bring up a page and "blah blah blah". Even politicians can do that, and look how much they get done! Not.

Nah.... for me, you have to take action and building something. You don't get to graduate to the doer class unless you actually produce something. And, it can even be in the ethereal realm of software, that's ok. Be Skype, EBay, OSX, or even MySpace. That's what really moves the world.

I guess I've always been twisted backward in this way.

While at HP in the early 1980's I proposed to our entire computer division (General Systems Division, the 400 person R&D lab that built HP3000 computers) that we have fewer and shorter meetings and spend more time working on products. (Of course, I also suggested that we fire 75% of the staff and pay the rest four times greater salaries. I probably should not mention that.)

In the mid-1980's I enjoyed working at Amiga Computer! We had one meeting every few months or so. The rest of the time we just worked (and ate pizza of course) and built that fabulous personal computer that was a decade ahead of its time.

Then, at Apple Computer in late 1980's... well, that was a nightmare for sure. During a 50 hour work week we had 45 hours of meetings. Nothing ever got done, but meetings were "satisfying" to the team (except me) because they felt things were getting done... even though nothing was getting done. I'd sometimes skip meetings, but then they'd say "Carl, please don't skip the meetings." As if something important actually happened there.

Of course, that was a different time for Apple. These days, judging by how many products they get out the door, it must be much better. More "do" and less "meet". One would hope, dream so.

Ok, so what was my point here? Am I just blah, blah, blahing? I think so. But, hey, you asked for it. A few of you did.

I guess next time, I should write about something philosophically more important. Maybe talk about software system dependency and non-dependency, and how the world may be doomed even before the ocean water rises a CM, if we don't change some things.

Now there's a golden topic! But, unfortunately, I have products to make.



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