Andrew Huynh
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This Side of Paradise

2014 November 30 - San Francisco | 415 words

There would be those who see a lot of glamour in start-ups and the whole concept of entrepreneurship. It is romanticized by the media who broadcasts million dollar valuations and billion dollar acquisitions. And for many, it is the ultimate meritocracy, appealing to those whom other cracies never appealed. The meritocracy was a guarantee that those with the smarts and know-how were adequately rewarded while those who fell short of godliness, failed. It evened the playing field for all, so much so that even the most out of place could still find a place.

We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.

And yet, almost in stark contradiction, it is easy to lament the state of the field. Social this and media that? Entire companies based on premises that any eight-bit fool could have thought of and thrown together. There seem to be millions, if not more, flowing into what seems to be nothing more than weekend projects. Add to that to the assortment of articles about founders who have questionable character and/or judgement and their follies; from the outside, you can't help but feel that there is something amiss.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

At least that's how it seems when the only source of information comes from eye-catching headlines. Speaking to founders you get the sense that they're all creating products to improve some small part of the world. While optimistic, it can be difficult to believe that every product will save the world. Perhaps instead, the discussion should be towards the notion of social design. At the time of it's conceptualization, the onus of social design fell on designers. However, in a world where anyone can create, where everyone is creating, everyone has the ability to envision and give form to products that address human problems on a broad scale and contribute to social well-being.

What will your verse be?

Products that connect people who would have never connected, who give a voice to those that had none, who make humans more productive, these are the breeds that address human ills. Products that facilitate distraction, shallow connections, these are the products that create human ills. The bar should be set at a product that makes you, the user, a better human. Better as a human or better because you yourself have contributed something to the greater community.