Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Alexander Graham Bell Was Not Thinking About Touch Screens

The first telephone was a large, conical shaped object that looked more like a stereo hi-fi speaker than anything anyone today would consider to be a telephone.

Compare that to what most people consider to be a phone today:

A 4 inch by 2 1/2 inch rectangular flat screen.

Between the first phone and the one currently laying on my desk were all classes and categories of iterations. The telephone used by my great-grandparents was very different than the one used by every sequential generation. Technology changed. Ideas evolved. The phone morphed into what it is today.

Two things about today's phone.

1. It feels inevitable.

We don't often take the time to marvel at the fact that your phone is a supercomputer, thousands of times more powerful than all of the computing power of NASA in 1969. It's true. But it doesn't feel like a big deal because it feels inevitable. It's the way a phone ought to be, and an entire generation doesn't know any better.

2. It is iterating

They don't know any better until one of the kids playing with her mom's touchscreen smartphone today ends up finding a better way to telephone. I am quite certain Alexander Graham Bell wasn't even thinking about touchscreens and LTE technology when he first set up his large, odd shaped device. What will be inevitable in 20 years has not been conceived today.

Whatever you're working on right now is not yet what it could be. Iterate your project until it feels inevitable.

Get your thing into the world, whether it's a novel or a spreadsheet.

Repeat the process. It's how we get from wires to LTE. It's also how we get from random ideas to stories that change the world.