Tech driving ideas is all backward

posted by Jeff | Friday, June 24, 2005, 3:32 PM | comments: 0

I was going through the stack of "new economy" business rags I've been neglecting and reading about companies that succeed and fail. (Oh, and I know "new economy" is a stupid thing to call them since, uh, 2000, but what I'm getting at is that they're not Business Week or The Wall Street Journal.) I usually get pretty fired up when I read these and I want to do something awesome.

The business I've been running the past five or six years has been about 90% Internet content related. It has only been profitable (though still debt-laden) for about two years. The thing that comes to mind is the urge to jump-start revenue with something new and exciting.

But I see myself falling into the same trap that most technology related self-starters seem to fall into... What can I do with the technology?

That's not right. The tech can't drive the idea, the idea has to drive the tech. We frequently get caught up in software, platforms and products. Certainly these things can inspire us to create something, but they shouldn't dictate how we develop an idea.

I look at the kind of community sites I run, and I feel I've got it backward. I consider rewriting my forum software to take advantage of the next version of the platform, and never stop to ask myself why I'm doing it. Instead of spending time thinking about what I can build, I should be searching for the ideas that make that community a better idea, and use the technology available to me to support the idea.

Some day I'll figure it out.


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