Tech that lasts 40 years

I watched some Microconf videos last night on I’m not sure if it’s strictly ‘legit’ or if this guy is just putting a camcorder on the seat and videoing Microconf.

I’d badly like to go one year, and it’s always been something I want to reward myself with when I get a SaaS to the stage where I can justify the lessons. Most projects I work on don’t live that long or progress that far. I like to think the Microconf organisers will get my money one year. The dodgy camcorder on the seat is probably drawing me in more. I get to hear the talk and get a feel for what’s going on, but the experience is still dodgy. Who knows what’s on the slides.

I like to distill these videos down to nuggets of gold, and hopefully I’ll remember them later.

Patio11/Patrick McKenzie has friend catchers. In real life, this is leaning yourself in to activities that can attract friends. His example is learning to cook – learn to cook, and any time you can invite some friends over for a meal. You can have friends any time.

The tech equivalent is solving people’s problems. Become a ‘people with problems’ catcher (that, you know, they’ll pay for). Where can we find people with problems? How can we help them solve them? Will these turn into ideas, or side projects? Or even just client projects.

Another thing he kept drawing back to was creating things that will last 40 years. We’ve got 40 years of blog posting, open source projects, podcasts and youtube videos to create.

When I’m working on something, very rarely can I honestly say I’ve cared if it could last 40 years. What might I do differently? He publishes his email address and says ‘this is my email address for the next 40 years’. I think the 40 years thing is going to stay with me.

I’m trying to think what’s still going to be around in 40 years. It’s difficult.

– gmail, yes. I would’ve said this about AOL though.

– AWS, Azure, yes. I would’ve said this about Geocities.

– iPhones. Surely not..?

– Wikipedia?

– Basecamp? These guys say Basecamp will be around until the end of the internet. If there’s some way to serve Basecamp to you, they’re going to work it out.

I want to make something that people in 40 years could use. It doesn’t have to be ubiquitous, in every household or any shit like that. Just that they *could* use. My grandkids can clone it from github (Remember when you used to install everything from sourceforge?), install node, and spin up a server of something I did.

It’s a humbling idea. I’m not sure if I’ve worked on something yet that has a half life of >5 years. I’m not really ok with that.