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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Made In America ??!!

Paul Graham is an essayist, programmer, and programming language designer. In 1995 he developed with Robert Morris the first web-based application, Viaweb, which was acquired by Yahoo in 1998. His website, got 3.7 million page views in 2004.Americans make the best software and films and the Japanese, the best cars and consumer electronics. Paul Graham believes Americans make the best software and films and the Japanese, the best cars and consumer electronics. Paul Graham believes it has to do with who's in charge Excerpts form the manifesto with edits and comments added:

Americans are good at some things and bad at others. Americans are good at making movies and software, and bad at making cars and cities. he adds,"And I think we may be good at what were good at for the same reason were bad at what were bad at. We.re impatient. In America, if you want to do something, you dont worry that it might come out badly, or upset delicate social balances, or that people might think youre getting above yourself. If you want to do something, as Nike says, just do it".

In software, paradoxical as it sounds, good craftsmanship means working fast. If you work slowly and meticulously, you merely end up with a very new implementation of your initial, mistaken idea. Working slowly and meticulously is premature optimization. Better to get a prototype done fast, and see what new ideas it gives you. Apple is an interesting counterexample to the general American trend. If you want to buy a nice CD player, you.ll probably buy a Japanese one. But if you want to buy an MP3 player, you.ll probably buy an iPod. What happened? Why doesn.t Sony dominate MP3 players? Because Apple is in the consumer electronics business now, and unlike other American companies, they.re obsessed with good design. Or, more precisely, their CEO is.

Perhaps the most successful countries, in the future, will be those most willing to ignore what are now considered national characters, and do each kind of work in the way that works best. Race you.

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