8 ways I'm sorta bored with the internet
- Big parties are boring.
I know it's kinda trite, but when all the new people show up to a scene it gets a little old for the old people. I was a new person getting to SF in 2000 just as things started to fall apart, and now I'm an old person who's a little cynical and curmudgeonly. It's not that I don't want fresh people in the party, it's just that I don't want to go to their party because they're excited about things that I'm already feeling done with.
- I don't feel like socializing and talking about work.
It was better when I had some product/service to sell, but now I'm doing consulting and the work is coming in without much promotion, so going out and doing social sales at startup parties just isn't that much fun for me.
- I'm bored to tears hearing about other people's web products.
Pretty much every idea I hear sounds terrible or impossible. Everyone wants to make roughly the same 3 products with a slightly different slant. I'm sure some of them will be successful and I'll seem like an idiot for thinking the idea was boring, but I've really come to think that the success of a product has so little to do with the quality of the idea, team, strategies, etc that it isn't worth talking about.
- I'm cynical.
For evidenced see #3. I know that cynicism, or even realism, doesn't mesh with the startup world. You have to believe a few things for startups to make sense:
a. Since I'm smarter/faster/better than everyone else I can beat them even though I'm an extreme underdog. I can be the exception and succeed where nearly everyone else fails.
b. When I succeed I'll make piles of money which will make me happy. (For more on this see #5.)
c. While I'm doing this I will make the world a better place, even though the nature of business is to make money above all other things. (ok, this one might be a little more cynical than I actually feel.)
- I don't want to be rich as badly as I used to.
You may or may not know that I grew up pretty poor. We always had a house and food (good food, actually) but my clothes came from the thrift store and I went to public school and got free lunch. At a pretty young age I decided I didn't want to keep living that way and I started earning money with the express goal of becoming middle class with a clean house and a fancy car, like a Toyota Corolla. I was successful, and by the age of 20 I had my Toyota and cool electronic toys and a nice set of knives.
In my early 20's I had to come up with the next goal, and the logical step seemed to be getting more money and being super rich. It was internet time and I saw other people making a lot of cash so this didn't seem to far fetched. And it had already worked once -- I had been poor and adding money had made me happier, so more money should make me more happier, right? After working on that goal for a few years I've started to look around an realize that the people I know who made lots of money don't seem any happier because of it, and some of them seem much less happy. I guess I just have no reason to think that I'd be any different from most people who go from being poor to being rich: they get depressed and confused. I could go on about this but I'll save it for later.
- No matter how cool your software is you still use it on a computer, which is fundamentally kinda boring.
I've compensated for this a little by working in mobile, so at least you can use my stuff outside. But if you're outside why not climb a tree or something rather than reading news feeds or texting all your friends to talk about climbing a tree.
- I'm not nerdy enough.
I've never been fascinated enough with technology to talk about it for its own sake. I sorta envy people who like things just because they're newer and better. It must be great to be one of those people, because every week something new comes out and you can get excited about it and dissect it and make a linux version. I just can't get into that.
- It worked.
I've been interested in new technologies because of the impact they could have on human interaction and communication, and I wanted to spread the word by making cool apps. Well, it looks like the word is spread. The mobile social internet (which is really the major thrust of my career) has been recognized as the next big thing. The iPhone hype has even reinforced my theory that the mobile browser is the place where the internet will happen on a big scale. And I'm talking about a really big scale here, like 3 or 4 billion people, not a hundred million.
Of course, the funny thing about this is this: now that I've done all this stuff enough to get bored with it I'm finally actually qualified. The last thing I want is an internet job designing another stupid mobile social application and the recruiters are calling every day. I don't mean to complain or to gloat, but I really want to do something different and I have no concept of what it might be. Any ideas?