I snuck in on another NewsGang live today and got to have a little chat with Dave Winer (inventor of a few things you all use every day). I asked him about some of the posts he put out
in the first half of last year at the end of 2006 outlining the perfect podcast hardware device and why he thinks it never caught fire. Dave had some really good comments about the fact that most ideas never actually go anywhere and that if he wants something actually done he often has to do it himself. (you can listen to them here Hooking Up buy
I’m still really trying to understand if there is anything to the idea that social production will cross over the bit-atom barrier and start to have a real impact on manufactured products. What got me going was the conversation that kicked off the gang about Doc’s request for a Twitter console
. Dave’s view was someone should just pick up and build it, and I would suspect that someone is already working on doing just that. But that didn’t happen in the case of the podcast player. But I understand Dave’s point: it does at least happen some of the time with software. Someone does a blog or forum post asking for a feature to be added to a product or a new product to be created and if there is enough piling on (or a really responsive developer) the change is made or the product appears.
But when was the last time you saw a user deigned car dashboard? It could be that hardware is just too hard (although the guys at Make would argue with that) or maybe it’s just that the manufacturing community and the UGC community aren’t connected enough yet. If it’s just the difficulty factor, then hopefully guys like Bug Labs will start to break down that barrier. If it’s just that manufacturers haven’t caught on to the whole ‘users and developers partying together’, well then I just may be able to help out with that.