Chris Dixon on the increasingly popular notion that startups are working on features instead of big ideas:
One thing these critics need to be careful about is that, as Clay Christensen has long argued, many important new inventions start out looking like toys.
He argues that Twitter is a great example of this, which it is. 5 years ago, the consensus of many — particularly those in the tech blogosphere — was that Twitter was just about the dumbest thing ever invented. Today, it’s a fundamental communication protocol for hundreds of millions around the world.
I’d go even further — back to the founding of Apple. At the time, people considered personal computers to be niche of the market at best, a toy at worst.
Apple is now worth $600 billion dollars and has fundamentally changed the world a few times over the past 35 years.
Hell, this guy thought the iPhone was little more than a toy just 5 years ago.
Oddly, this seems to always want to breakdown into a hardware versus software argument. Which is silly.
Things that change the world tend to sneak up on us all. If they were obvious enough to be immediately recognizable, everyone would be working on them. You have to start somewhere.