You are the one who will change the world, not the next president

Published April 18th, 2008 edit replace rm!

Dolores Park

It’s easy to get swept into the excitement of the electoral process no matter where you live in the world. In the past couple of months I’ve found myself swept into the excitement for a candidate for the coming US presidential election, who I in reality have very few things to agree with and probably wouldn’t ever vote for anyway. This because he has a certain charisma and a message that says “Lets change this crap!!!”.

However anytime I get deeper into following that process something happens to immediately yank me back to reality and realize that it doesn’t really matter anyway who sits in the White House or who is busy inserting their pork barrel into bills in Congress.

What is important is that we the entrepreneurs, coders and inventors who are actually changing the world keep doing our jobs.

Sometimes it seems unimportant and frivolous for us to be obsessive about the latest standards, rails plugins or variation of a social video startup. However this is how every single great change to the world has happened over the last couple of hundred years.

Let me repeat that:

Every important world change has been made by people like YOU!!!

Also if you don’t think you should have illusions of grandeur remember:

Every large and well known change depends on thousands of other small improvements also made by people like YOU!!!

Note. I say YOU as the people who read this blog tend to be entrepreneurial and/or geek type of people. If you happen to be a politician or bureaucrat I’m sorry, I’m not talking to you.

The obsessive nerd thinking over some small technical detail to move us as a planet ahead or a big mouth entrepreneur who refused to give up and ends up bringing down the last generation of entrepreneurs who had grown fat and complacent.

Why are we well off

Those of us in the west are well off and lead comfortable lives not due to some 19th century president, king or prime minister. We grew to where we are because of nerds like James Watt, innovative bankers like Nathan Rothchild and single minded entrepreneurs like Andrew Carnegie.

Why is the world changing for the better

You are part of the current generation who is bringing this amazing economical and social development to the rest of the world.

The web, mobile phones, YouTube and email are amongst the thousands of new technologies that are breaking age old barriers that kept people poor. People who before were ignored and poor are now all of a sudden taking their voice, demanding change, taking charge and pushing their own economies forward.

This isn’t just happening in the developing world. In the US politician’s are now in a new uncertain world, where people don’t necessarily just accept what’s going on.

More and more people are also finding that the barriers to entry to independence for themselves if getting to a lower and lower level letting more and more people make step off the corporate ladder and start businesses for them selves, thus creating a positive feedback loop for change.

Some of the people occasionally blamed for this development were William Shockley the inventor of the Transistor, Gordon Moore cofounder of Intel, Bill Gates, Linus Torvalds, Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

However every one of these famous names built upon the work of thousands of other amazingly smart innovative geeks and entrepreneurs who might not have received the fame, but were equally responsible in bringing about a huge change to this world.

I find it entertaining and to a certain extent cool when someone like Dave Winer devotes so much of his time right now to the Obama campaign, when he has probably done way more to change the world for good than any presidential candidate ever will by inventing the blog and RSS .

Loosers are also world changers

You are also responsible even if your particular startup or technology didn’t take off, as competition with you is what brought the winners ahead. I worked at Alta Vista early on, Google beat them into a pulp but they and others helped build the foundation that Google succeeded on.

What’s the point Pelle

So what exactly is my point on this rant. It’s alright to get all heated up about political campaign, just remember that your real job is improving the world. 6 billion people are depending on it. Keep doing what you do best one line of code at a time, one new blog post at a time and one new idea at a time.

Even if you haven’t got a ground breaking business idea, submitting a patch to a rails plugin that will make it easier for someone who does could be a more important step towards changing the world than who you vote for in November.


Fille deLoyer April 20th, 2008

Thank you for actually saying this! I’ve been telling people this for years but of course, political activism is for “radicals”. I’d like to see someone put together a site that’s nonpartisan where we can, as a community, rework laws and get our bills introduced. No vetoes and no riders!

Fille x

About me

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My name is Pelle Braendgaard. Pronounce it like Pelé the footballer (no relation). I live in Managua, Nicaragua. I am the Technical Lead at uPort a Self Sovereign Identity Platform built on Ethereum.

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