April 13, 2010 Leave a comment
On my way home last night, my mind went to the word “Hack” …. the way it is and the way we look at it…..
Hacking is most commonly associated with computers, and people who break into or otherwise subvert computer systems are often called hackers. Although this terminology is occasionally disputed, I think it is essentially correct…….these hackers are discovering the actual rules of the computer systems (e.g buffer overflows), and using them to circumvent the intended rules of the system. The same is true of the hackers who break DRM or other systems of control.
Clunking out clever code is also described as hacking. In this case the hacker is violating the rules of how we expect software to be written. If there’s a project that should take months to write, and someone manages to hack it out in a single evening, that’s a small miracle, and a major hack. If the result is simple and beautiful because the hacker discovered a better solution, we may describe the hack as “elegant” or “brilliant”. If the result is complex and hard to understand (perhaps it violates layers of abstraction), then we will call it an “ugly hack”.
Important new businesses are usually some kind of hack. The established business thinks they understand the systems and have setup rules to guard their profits and prevent real competition. New business must find a gap in the rules…..something that the established powers either don’t see, or don’t perceive as important (I believe we all know the story of Google and search).
The entire process of building a business and having other people and computers do the work for you is a big hack. Nobody ever created a billion money business through direct physical labour……it requires some major shortcuts to create that much wealth….and by definition those shortcuts were mostly invisible to others.
Not everyone has the hacker mindset, but wherever and whenever there were people, there was someone starring into the system, searching for the truth. Some of those people were content to simply find a truth, but others used their discoveries to hack the system, to transform the world. These are people that have made a difference in their fields…beliefs and religion….and they did it by hacking the prior systems.(consider the challenge of establishing a successful business…..the established businesses “Sharks” won’t give up easily)…..now to the moral of the story.
To discover great hacks, we must always be searching for the true nature of our reality, while acknowledging that we do not possess the truth, and never will. Hacking is much bigger and more important than clever bits of code in computer…..its how we create the future.
……a lot of jargon right???? …….follow me Twitter for short bursts…. 140 characters or less…