“There is a computer disease that anybody who works with computers knows about. It’s a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is that you ‘play’ with them!” ~Richard P. Feynman
Certainly more than half of the engineering world has caught this disease. Everyone is playing with their computers, iphones, androids and boom they can’t get enough of it. The next thing they know is to have something of their own, they don’t want to sell products of someone else but they want to make their own and be the next big thing. It used to be a very inspiring thing to me at some time back in time when I was just a techie. I would open up my computer if it won’t boot, would never call the tech support, instead call the tech support a bunch of fools who doesn’t know a thing and would take my computer away to their stupid support center for a week for no strong reason. I would hear from my friends about their big brothers running a company of their own and earning a lot of money and I would go all wow and awesome. But now that I’m much more than just a techie, I realize this whole thing has lost its meaning. I hear of a new startup almost every month or so, which might be good for a country like ours moving so fast but when you have a clear look at it, one would see that it is not the same anymore as it was supposed to be.
Well, what was it supposed to be and why it isn’t now? I believe everyone has heard of The Social Network and how the face of Facebook as we know it today, took shape. Microsoft, Google, all the big giants today were at some point, just a startup. So, what has changed? It is idea and moral behind it. The philosophy of it. Most of the startups I hear about today are JUST an IT startup and nothing more. They lack vision. All they deal in is money. I am a technocrat for past one and a half years now and have met many such individuals who are up working day and night on a product for their customers. But what exactly is the product they are working on? When I ask, the common answer I get is either a software for a school or shop to manage things around or the most common of them all, a website. And I am left to wonder what is so special about the IT startups nowadays? all they are is a bunch of groups doing the same thing under different name and at different locations. Where is the idea and innovation that defines a company? Where is that will to make a difference? to make things better and give them a new form the world can only yet imagine.
The most common story behind the launch of a startup of today is “We started off developing websites for money” and it goes on. Sure the web is a fast moving world and has given a new shape to IT but the speed it is moving at today, no IT industry who develop just Websites & related services are going to stand. Reason being the term growth now solely means how much money you make. There are no dazzling ideologies and innovative services, just a bunch of people who would do the work for you at a cheaper rate. For how long can a startup stand if they are just delivering a service which in most of it form is being already provided by well established IT giants in much better ways (obviously. They have spent years doing so.) Does that mean there is no scope in IT anymore? No way. IT has a never ending potential. Web is now a hub of IT giants trying to take it over. Endless possibilities.
My point is more than half of the world booming into IT today lacks the vision that was held by the elders, whom I would refer to as “successful entrepreneurs”. To stand firm on grounds of such heavy competition, the only solution I can think of is to be unmatched! Unique. Which I don’t see around so much.