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Did you know there are over 150 varieties of Finches? Each slightly different, maybe color difference or a larger beak or bigger wingspan. They came about by iterating on the Finches that came before.

In fact, that's how most advancements come about in nature, poetry, art, and yes, even technology. We take what came before an iterate on it.

I'm trying to think of a giant leap that came out of nowhere, but I can't.

Photos and videos are important to me. Really important. It's how I see my family 1000's of miles away or my daughter 5 miles away when I'm at work.

And just like in nature, either this iteration will thrive or die out eventually.




I like this analogy. Silicon valley generates random mutations of existing ideas, without thought or direction, and occasionally lands, by pure chance, on something slightly better, which survives at the expense of other inferior mutations.

I guess that maybe the developers working on "a new way to share photos and video" kid themselves that they're making something different; something that really is revolutionary. But no, what they're really doing is tweaking the shape of a beak thinking it'll make a better finch.

So I do kind of have to ask: is making random tweaks to the genome of the photo sharing application in the hope they'll be successful really the best use of the talents of all those developers?


> Silicon valley generates random mutations of existing ideas, without thought or direction, and occasionally lands, by pure chance, on something slightly better.

I would say that people do this. Silicon Valley does not do this "without thought or direction," but instead with great forethought and direction in the form of a "business plan."

The problem I see with this, is that this is not some earnest effort to improve photo sharing, but an obvious attempt to clone an existing and popular service with the hope of mining its popularity.

Truly the developers of this cannot think they created "a new way to share photos and video," unless they are ill. All they have done is applied a modest novelty to an existing concept. Not quite a "mutation" in the sense of a new species of Finch, but more in the vein of a parasite.


I think this is basically what scott adams pivot article said.


> So I do kind of have to ask: is making random tweaks to the genome of the photo sharing application in the hope they'll be successful really the best use of the talents of all those developers?

These developers CHOOSE to work at Facebook. If they don't feel as though re-inventing the slide show would be the best use of their time, there are thousands of companies which do cooler stuff that would GLADLY have them.

Maybe the people who work for Facebook aren't as smart as you think they are. Actually, what's far more likely is that MAYBE JUST MAYBE not every one of the tens of thousands of people working at Facebook is a genius...


Tens of thousands?


As of March Facebook has a reported 6,818 total full time employees. Certainly Thousands, but not tens of thousands.


6,800 as of March according to their 10-Q.


> I'm trying to think of a giant leap that came out of nowhere, but I can't.

This isn't exactly a Manhattan Project or golden-age Bell Labs kind of deal. Some iterations are a bit more ambitious than others.

Unlike evolution, engineers can be goal directed. We can do better than Yet Another Finch that is Slightly More Yellow.


Marvellous. I'm going to start flipping random bits in memory. In a few million years I might have an interesting piece of software.


I think there are probably more efficient ways you can get to making an interesting piece of software. Building on the work of others, maybe?


Nature is brutal and peoples' complaints over the app are a muted form of natural selection.

Also, did ed209 honestly claim artists churn out iterations of what came before, just like facebook churning out cloneware?


> complaints over the app are a muted form of natural selection.

that's not true. we uninstall and don't use the app. Remember Facebook •Camera? That has exited the gene pool.

> Also, did ed209 honestly claim artists churn out iterations of what came before, just like facebook churning out cloneware?

Yes. Just search for art movements, whether from 14th century Renaissance to 1950's pop art. Tell me artists were not "influenced" by other art being produced at the time.


>that's not true. we uninstall and don't use the app. Remember Facebook •Camera? That has exited the gene pool.

We also voice our opinions publicly, and there's nothing wrong with that. Most app stores have a review section specifically for this purpose, but one shouldn't let that limit their forums for speech.

>Yes. Just search for art movements, whether from 14th century Renaissance to 1950's pop art. Tell me artists were not "influenced" by other art being produced at the time.

Even the great artists who steal all the best stuff end up creating something new and never seen before.


Sure. "Good artists borrow, great artists steal."


Penicillin.


I think that was more of a discovery than an invention




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