Stop Building Features, Start Building Products: Weak – Incremental – Steps

Time tends to play tricks on the human mind and incorrect assumptions form a basis for reality. Rather than minimize reality to a natural context, people, with the help of the media, over-complicate their view of life and what it means to live. In physics, work is defined as the physical displacement in the direction of the force from where force is applied. Our usage of this word has changed and we now assume some sort of employment (job) or benefit resulting from the work. We assume a monetary transaction because we are capitalists. Or are we? It’s time to question your fundamental assumptions about YOUR reality. Inaction, or not taking a step, is no longer an option. With a clearer vision, we need you to take a step. Not a Weak, Incremental, Step, but a real evolutionary step in the right direction.

Weak incremental steps plague the landscape of our world. They are the illusions of positive change, but carry the baggage of the old gods. Weak incremental steps are often seen as visionary or forward thinking, but don’t usually live up to the hype. A reason they are not a full evolutionary step is that they are usually self-serving to their owners. Greed is what has us in this mess and it is what usually prevents a true evolutionary step. A problem with our current system of capitalism is that greed is rewarded. The system is based on a self-serving promise. It is not necessary to do the right thing; it is necessary to profit. The corporation will always stop short if the extra effort does not yield positive returns or value to their shareholders. The representatives of the company have virtually no liability and are tasked with increasing returns to shareholders. The United States is ripe with historical examples of firms fixing prices and sabotaging product quality in order to increase long-term profits.

Sometimes a step is weak because the person taking the step does not see a clear path. Casting blame on a person of ignorance does nothing to solve the problem. For that reason, and that reason alone, the intention is not to place blame, but rather to call attention to areas in the system that are weak. To identify this weakness is NOT to call for a solution to that specific problem. Often problems exist as a result of other solutions; a side effect of an inefficient and archaic system.  If a solution to a problem creates more problems, regardless of their size, the sum total of new problems need to be considered as part of the cost. Removing a solution also removes the problems it creates. Replacing that problem with better solutions should be the goal. If we always seek to optimize the systems that serve us, WE will benefit. However, if we always seek to optimize the systems that serve them, they will benefit. Each person controls the systems they take part in by choosing to be part of them. Sometimes there seems to be no other choice and we are going to make sure better solutions are available.

We need to urge the creators of any new systems to diverge from the new technology titans, who perpetuate the weak incremental steps of their predecessors. The labor force was and is the primary exploitable resource. The newer companies aim to create more value with less human resource. This would not be a problem, except our current systems require employment to facilitate sustainability. Not only do they require employment, they require profit, an inefficiency in the system. Creating jobs is identified as a positive value in society today, but the reality is that in the corporate framework, fewer and devalued jobs increase profit. As corporations move to automate and eliminate jobs, there are less people who can afford to survive. These people are displaced from the system in exchange for profit. However, if The People owned the company eliminating jobs would be a good thing. Automation would mean less work for people, giving people actual freedom. And because The People own the company, The People have incentive to work less and automate more because in the end The People own the solution. In a system where everyone is included, no one gets isolated from humanity.

Bitcoin is a weak incremental step because currency should not exist. Snapchat is a weak incremental step because it is still just picture sharing; not a final solution. Twitter and Vine are weak incremental steps because what is short to you is not necessarily short to everyone else. Uber replaced the taxi industry, created some efficiencies and takes more than its fair share from the system. The winning formula of a weak incremental step is that is does just enough to gain popularity and profit, but no more. Usually these companies don’t want to change something because they think it is the reason for their success. And when they don’t change it, and still have success, they are sure it was the key to their success. We don’t need more ways to share pictures. We need one more way; one final way. These weak steps show the people what works, and what does not. They pay the price for the lessons we can take away. We simply need to replace the time tested solutions with similar solutions that take the full evolutionary step. The People need to own their solutions and their data.

The lack of a single technology journalist is telling of a time ripe for trickery and tomfoolery, and the media plays along. They don’t know any better and don’t ask. The technology media is on par with the financial media in the 80’s and 90’s; they are completely missing the story. The People are being taken advantage of and there is no one reporting on it. Instead, they hype weak incremental steps.

Big changes are not necessarily big steps, but they may require a monumental shift in perspective. The human mind can walk through the mental process to get from one step to another so long as the connecting path is clear. If, however, the path requires additional assumptions to be set aside, or new information to be learned, the path is almost impossible to traverse. Big change does not require consensus because fewer people can create systems of enormous global value. Sometimes change happens regardless of whether people understand it or not. And there is the rub; most times the people don’t know any better. You don’t know what you don’t know and some don’t want to know.

For those who have that burning desire for change, there is no need to put your ear to the ground because you can feel it coming. Big changes. Big steps. Leaps. And bounds. We have some lost time to make-up for. Someone fell asleep on watch, woke up 100 years later, and is defending the old institutions against the intruders. They have gone mad. And our best defense is Hacking Capitalism.

Todd.Bonnewell.com and HackingCapitalism.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *