The Future of Computing – A Different Philosophy
In order to avoid the situation we find ourselves in, we must first change the way we approach software solutions with an underlying philosophy that guides the way we think and act.
Our philosophy must be oriented around the person "using" the software and not the software itself. Although there are two categories of consumers: people and other computer systems, let’s currently limit the conversation to software that is written for use by people.
So what does it mean to orient around people? It means that we must accept that we write software for people and not for computers. This means that we need to take better care of people. We must understand what they care about. Applications have attempted to bridge that gap, but because they are fundamentally a construct required by computers, they limit how we can care for people.
Using an approach like User Centered Design, which typically occurs at an application or product level, is a powerful step forward. Unfortunately, limiting User Centered Designs or similar thinking to a single software application doesn’t go far enough. Instead, a holistic approach is required that transcends applications to produce a computing world/marketplace/environment to take better care of people.
Taking better care of people means that computers and software must help people collaborate more effectively than what is currently possible. Why? Because human beings are limited in what they can produce alone. It means that when we help people keep track of things that are important to them, they are better able to take care of others as well.
How does this show up? It shows up in Cloud Computing when the user configures how much hardware he/she needs. It shows up when the user brings up a document in Google docs and doesn't have to worry whether it is a .doc or an .rtf file.
The Future of Computing Part II
The iPad 3 and the Future of Computing