Increasingly, we live in a world of powerful pluggable pieces. Online and off, and in everything from e-commerce to art, invention is evolving from engineer’s work to something much more akin to cooking, where creators mix in ingredients to make something delicious and unique. That shift is enabling a new generation of DIY makers and entrepreneurs to fit those prebuilt parts together quickly and build interesting new products on top of them.
Examining phenomenons like the Arduino, an open source microcontroller which is revolutionizing everything from art to robotics, we’ll take a look at how having a kit of simple but powerful parts changes the rules for what you can build yourself (and in the case of the Ardunio-powered Makerbot, what those things can then build!) The shift is also happening online, where Facebook Connect and Twitter can be plugged in in place of identity and distribution systems that you would have had to build before. Finally, we’ll focus on new tools, APIs, and companies that are commoditizing more and more complex layers of technology, and how missing out on the trend could leave you lagging behind younger competitors that have learned how to stop developing, pick up the pieces, and just build.
Forget reinventing the wheel – stop reinventing the car. Welcome to the Pluggable Culture.
Sam Lessin is the founder and CEO of drop.io, the simple private real-time filesharing and collaboration application. Prior to drop.io, Sam worked at Bain and Company, the global strategy consulting firm. He has held positions at RRE Ventures and AT&T Wireless Mobile Multimedia. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude from Harvard College. He is an avid runner, backpacker, skier, and traveler.