The Happy (technological) Medium

It seems that in any industry, there are those who want to invent and those who want to commoditize these inventions. One person creates a new technology or service, and another (or sometimes the same person) then quickly finds a way to turn it into profit.

This is not a new phenomenon. This process is good and bad, and different industries have varying levels of success. For example, you could hire a plumber to fix your toilet, or you could learn to Do-It-Yourself. There are many videos, books, and kits that will teach you how to do this. Obviously, not everyone will be able to pick up a book and be proficient; there is a natural inclination which can be more valuable than mass-produced instructions.

This same thing is true for technology. Now more than ever, there are companies like WIX who are trying to convince people that web design is easy, and you can just Drag-N-Drop to create a web page. Companies have been doing this since the web was born. Granted, great strides have been made, but you won’t see features like this in a WIX site.

So – what do you want to do with your technology? If you just want to have a blog to have one, sure, go ahead and use WordPress (I fear my tongue may cause my cheek to rupture at any moment). If you want to push the envelope, then you’d better get your hands dirty with HTML, CSS, and some server-side language. Considering W3C had to split CSS3 into modules in order to make any progress on it, how can anyone believe that a pre-made website builder will possess features that haven’t even been completed yet?

Let’s say you do want to make something new, something great, and something that really sets you apart. That’s great, and the world needs more people like you! If you want to have an intelligent design process that runs circles around the competition, you’d better make sure you’re using some custom tools. If everyone is working with the same recipe, the only difference is the ingredients – so make sure you’re not shopping in the same store as your competitors!

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