I do not believe in being contrarian for contrarian’s sake but I have oftentimes found myself on that lightly divided edge. Perhaps it’s just the way I see the world.
I do not count myself unique though – I have encountered (and enjoy hanging out with) many people who see the world differently, who enjoy a nice and cold beverage on a very cold winter morning when most are warming their hands on a hot one.
I’ve been thinking about this more and more as I move continue to move forward with a software product that has been 12 years in the making.
Desk PM is a simple desktop publishing application that I have long-dreamed of creating. It’s not an overly-complex system but the polish and resolve that I have to keep it simple is, in and of itself, the challenge.
But there are two things that are very contrarian about it, the first is that the world is obsessed with all-things mobile. Mobility-this and mobility-that. The ability to have all of your computing needs in your front (or back) pocket. The second thing is persistent online connection. The world is also obsessed with creating solutions that bank on the user being always actively connected to the internet at large.
The result of this supposedly-wide view is quite actually a very narrow perspective on technological innovation and it’s one that I’m taking full advantage of. While the world looks keenly at the next mobile application I am building one strictly and exclusively for the desktop. While the world is looking for always-on solutions and platforms I’m thinking about the incredibly potential for offline productivity.
Desk PM does that. It is not a contrarian app intrinsically but it is when contextually compared with where the world has fixed its eyes. That is neither the point nor the goal but I think it says something about entrepreneurship and opportunity.
When the world looks right I think innovators look left. Not because they reject what is but because they pause enough to gaze at what could be (and what others are missing).