…on life, the universe, and everything

Hard problems and Sex appeal

My Biz vs Dev cohost, Mik Pozin,

Yes, the problems that aren’t 140 characters are the really hard ones. But we now have to make that be the sexy thing. We have to make solving hard problems sexy.

Hard problems are sexy. Solving hard problems makes you a god damn super hero. My nascent interest in writing software was kickstarted by an intense curiosity to understand, “What is this sorcery and how does it work?”

Google Search is sexy. The iPhone is Sexy. SpaceX Rockets are sexy.

I want us to get there too, I think we’re in complete agreement on that. But saying that everyone is working on meaningless crap instead of solving real problems just isn’t true. There are a few people working on things like twitter, and a small cult of wannabe entrepreneurs following what looks like easy money.

But it’s not easy money. You can count the number of truely successful social networks on one hand. Social networks are an intensely hard problem themselves, but the hard part is the business model.

Innovating on business models is an underappreciated art. Business models are the difference between Android and iOS. Farmville and Minecraft. Gillette and Harrys.

Nobody is going to Mars until there’s a business model. And it’ll need to be a new one; I don’t think indentured servitude is going to cut it this time.