Implementing ideas at the speed of thought
by Ron Miller
Think of some great ideas from the recent past, whether it's Uber, Airbnb, Spotify or Instagram --they all were disruptive ideas that were within reach because of mobile, social and the cloud.
We are in an age where if you can think it, you can build it. Call it development at the speed of thought. Even a decade ago, many great ideas very likely stayed inside the heads of their their thinkers because it was one thing to have the idea, it was another altogether to have the resources to implement it.
Consider that today you can become an Android developer for just $25, which gives you access to all of the development tools and Google Play for distribution. You can become an iOS developer for just $99 a year, which gives you access to the software development kit, debugging and testing tools and the App Store for distribution. Both require a trivial monetary investment, beyond investing the time to learn how these tools work.
These tools provide a way to test ideas very quickly for very little financial risk. If an idea fails to materialize, you can move on and try the next thing, and if it works, cloud infrastructure gives you the ability to scale quickly without a high-cost data center investment.
Twenty years ago when I was working as a technical writer, I remember sitting in a conference room with a project manager who knew Visual Basic cold. He sketched out a software interface in a few minutes and I recall sitting there dumbfounded at how quickly he was able to create a dummy interface.
Today's tools make that trick look rather primitive and they give entrepreneurs a greater edge than at any time in history. You can think it and begin to build a business in minutes. Simply pull out your smartphone, tablet or laptop; grab some online infrastructure, and you're ready to start.
All you need for all intents and purposes is a device and a credit card. Of course, you also need to know someone with development skills or you need to learn them fast, but none of these issues are out of reach.
And if you do need other expertise, that's a simple matter as well because today's online tools make it easier than ever before to build small teams with a variety of required expertise quickly.
In earlier times, you had to sell your idea to someone with a lot of money before you could even think of testing it out and trying it. The cost of ramping up was very likely so expensive and finding investors so time-consuming and difficult, most people's projects very likely never got off the ground. The obstacles to succeeding were just too daunting and too dependent on factors outside of your control.
Today, that's all changed and you can think of an idea and put it in action within minutes and that's fairly remarkable if you think about it.
Photo Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo
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