Why do we do technology?

We are trying to solve problems.

Perhaps we limit ourselves on the problems we are solving. For the past several years, the theme at National Instruments’ annual user conference NI Week has focused on solving some of the world’s biggest problems through technology.

Writing in the Daily Stoic Ryan Holiday quotes Confucius, “Virtue is never solitary; it always has neighbors.” What he meant by that was that good behavior and good thinking is contagious.

Holiday continued:

If politics is a snake pit of corruption and avarice, then good people should enter it and improve it, not simply denounce it. If capitalism is too selfish, then the caring should start businesses with better cultures (which, when successful, will steal market share from the bad actors). If a group has extreme or offensive views, it shouldn’t be cut off and isolated for fear of “normalizing it.” It should be normalized–by encouraging normal people to interact with it, correct it and prod these misguided people towards the right path.

I’d like to start this week off with a challenge. What problems are we solving? Why do we do what we do? What good are we bringing into the world?

This is an age of entrepreneurship. As the big companies gobble up smaller ones, they always leave gaps for engineers who ask why. Go out and work on a bigger problem. Start a company.

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