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Successful Tech Startups Don't Write Code? (iamtrask.squarespace.com)
15 points by u8mybrownies on Dec 18, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments



Running a business is about solving a problem. Some problems are things that need innovative development because they can't be broken down in to smaller units that people have solved before. More often though, people's problems are actually a configuration of smaller, very simple steps that have been solved before. Recognising the problem, breaking it down in to it's constituent parts, knowing that those parts have been solved, and knowing how to get the solutions to work together - that's the clever bit. That's what people give you money for.


We've all been doing this for ages. What's newer is that the pieces of the puzzles are getting smaller and smaller and we glue together more and more of them to create the end product.

At one time, somebody had to build databases, not a problem anymore, now we just use Postgres, MySQL, MongoDB, etc. etc.

We used to write CSS from scratch, now we use Bootstrap.

Think of how many gems or packages your average Rails and Node.js (sorry, don't know much about Java, C#, etc. etc) apps use. That's all these pieces glued together. How much 'code' do any of us write anymore? I'd say very little, and it seems to be less and less every year.


"Truth be told, the fact that they know what to glue to what makes them smart in some sense, but in others, they didn’t really create the value."

They did create the value - of the new entity that is the glued together product, which did not previously exist. Most of the time creativity is combining two or more existing things to get a new whole. The unique creation is an extraordinarily rare event.

It's very likely those components that the company glued together, were previously individually glued together from prior ideas / inspirations and existing concepts or products.

You'll find that most of the businesses in this world are little more than glued together pieces, rearranged combinations of previously existing elements; often done better, or in a slightly novel way, or with better customer service, or more efficiently, and so on.


I think it's a good thing. It's actually harder than you'd think to build something out of existing pieces, and if people like it and use it, then why not? As for the original piece makers, that's what licensing and other agreements are for...


Aren't most 'new' things 'inspired' by already existing things anyway ? Piecing together a number of separate things to create a new - sometimes better - thing still counts as a win in my opinion.




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