Dave Winer, 56, is a visiting scholar at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and editor of the Scripting News weblog. He pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in New York City.
"The protoblogger." - NY Times.
"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.
"Dave was in a hurry. He had big ideas." -- Harvard.
"Dave Winer is one of the most important figures in the evolution of online media." -- Nieman Journalism Lab.
10 inventors of Internet technologies you may not have heard of. -- Royal Pingdom.
One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.
"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.
"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.
"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.
8/2/11: Who I Am.
My 40 most-recent links, ranked by number of clicks.
FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)
I had lunch last week with Joe Hewitt. Joe is ex-of Facebook and Netscape where he co-developed the original versions of Firefox. We get together every few months in NYC. He's originally from here, and likes to visit.
Joe's specialty is browser-based software. He did the iPhone client for Facebook. It's one of the largest installed-base products in the world. So Joe has the ability to think and do big stuff. That's why I want to work with him!
Anyway, he thinks the iPhone is great. He doesn't want to use Android. But I want him to use it, for the same reason I use it. Which is the title of this piece.
Right now it's the only open source mobile OS that has a chance against IOS. If there is no alternative to IOS then Apple will have exclusive control over what makes it to market. That is a future none of us should want to live in.
The better IOS is relative to Android, the more you have to worry about.
So when smart people like Joe, people who could make a difference by making software only for Android, and thereby give more people a reason to prefer it, don't get riled up and do exactly that -- you gotta wonder how we're going to get out of this mess.
I don't like Google any more than I like Apple. But at least they don't control the channel of apps to users of Android. That's a huge deal. It makes up for a lot of Android's inadequacies. And if Google fucks us, let's find another home.
The problem, as long as I've been in software, is the inability of individual creative people to work together in a way that preserves their independence. It's what gives Apple or Microsoft or Oracle, IBM, Netscape, Sun or whoever happens to own the pipe at any particular moment, the power to kill markets. It's what forces us to throw everything away every ten years and start over. It's why it feels like instead standing on the shoulders of giants, we're standing on their toes.
I get angry at the selfishness. Joe has great capacity to create. We need that to be involved in keeping us free. It's not enough to dream about Nirvana, we have to create it too.
Imho of course.
Should women be encouraged to be entrepreneurs? The author of this TechCrunch op-ed says that would be as silly as encouraging men to be stay-at-home moms. That being an entrepreneur tends to be a male thing. Family-making is a woman's thing. I'm simplifying. If you want all the nuance, read the piece.
Is this sexism? Absolutely. I know this because I did a simple transformation to make it personal, so I could see the problem.
Suppose you said that being an entrepreneur is something that tends to be a young person's thing. Middle-aged people like me shouldn't try to do it. We have our own things to do, like giving advice to entrepreneurs. Or sitting on the sidelines being ignored. You know, like Grandpa in the Simpsons. (One of my favorite Simpsons characters.)
Now I see the problem.
You could argue that sheez it's true. Most of the people who start companies are young. Why are you being so picky. Please go and die. Now. And of course the same argument works for women. Most of the startups are run by men. There must be a reason. And instead of dying, they are told to have babies. Oy.
The problem is this -- it unfairly limits people's ability to contribute. What if lightning struck and the greatest entrepreneur who ever lived happened to be born in a female body. What a shame if we discouraged that person from exploring her potential. Likewise, what if a certain kind of product, one that we need, can only be created by someone with deep experience and the wisdom that comes from many years of living? It's conceivable.
One of my favorite directors is Martin Scorsese. He wasn't one of my favorites until he created what I consider to be a nearly perfect movie, The Departed. I liked all his earlier movies, but I wasn't riveted by them. The Departed held my rapt attention for its full duration. It's one of those movies I can watch over and over, and never seem to get tired of. It's a masterpiece. Suppose there is a tech product out there like that, being created by someone who is in his or her forties or fifties. Why should we make it any harder than it already is to create such a work? Maybe we'll deprive ourselves of its utility, its inspiration, the prior art. The influence.
Scorsese was 64 when he did The Departed.
I could make exactly the same argument for women directors. Most directors are men. But don't confuse that with a rigid rule that all directors must be men. There could be a lot of reasons. And thank goodness we didn't tell Sofia Coppola to put on an apron and get busy making kids. Hey maybe she is doing that too. But who would have wanted to have missed Lost In Translation?
Bottom-line: We all have something to contribute. It's human to want to contribute. It also is, unfortunately, human to try to stop others from contributing. I don't want other people to get in my way, so I try not to get in their way, if at all possible.
PS: If you get a chance, see Scorsese's biography of George Harrison, ten years after his passing. It'll give you a lot more depth of understanding of the Beatles and popular music.