The software revolution

We are living it.

Posted by sbastidasr on August 3, 2015

We live in a software revolution. It is just a matter of when it will burst. What happened a very long time ago with (big) hardware in the industrial revolution, is going to happen again with software, the logic revolution. We live in a day whereMachines aren’t specific anymore. A 3D printer can make a piece designed to be made by a machine half the world away. We don’t need to import highly specialized machinery from, say, Germany, to build car parts. Because we can print and we will be able to print metal, circuits, and everything, anywhere, What we will need is the design of that needed piece, and we’ll be able to print it on a deserted installed, in china or in the middle of NY. Machines that used to be one-piece specific with molds costing 10k for each, can now print a kitchen item, a pencil holder, the door handle of a car, whatever. Let’s say you want to sell chairs. design the chair in 3D, print it and send the file to china, to print it in china and sell it in china. Chairs that will be sold in the US will be printed in the US because it will be cheaper. Printing will be cheaper than transporting a piece of material across the seas, ports, and so on.

What we needed in the industrial revolution was a machine that could do the work of thousands of people, faster cheaper, better. Now, we need that software that powers machines. We need the software that sends the design and prints it, controls the machine. This software is the one that protects the buyer and the seller, that guarantees the design is delivered and the piece is printed. What used to be impossible to produce in certain locations, like precise watches (that used to be made in Switzerland) can be printed as a circuit anywhere. This means the real value is not in the printer or in the process of delivery, but in the logic itself. It is the design, it is the software that tells the machine how to do stuff where the value is.

This shift of value from hardware to software generates a new problem. The logic parts are easier to steal, to copy, to send across the internet. Software has to be able to hide the core from the user, and generate more value in it. If I send someone the file of a new Foo Fighters song, it will be spread across the world in days. If I buy Spotify instead, I will get millions of songs, and I wouldn’t be able to share the file. It’s a win-win situation. There must be a perfect balance in giving the user what he paid for: what you need, how you need and when you need. But, software also has to protect the developer, allowing the user to pay for the desired value.

Cars will no longer be german, instead, they will be german-designed. That means BMW will sell amazing cars engineered in Germany, with software made in California, and printed where needed. The value will be in the rights to print said cars, in the blueprints, in the design. Software is the net revolution that will change how things are made like the industry did: faster, cheaper, better. It will allow to enter markets easier, to manufacture better, to do more work, doing less work yourself. Select, download, print.

Same goes to analog instruments, to coffee mugs, to art. The logic is what counts. Art in the future will not be paintings, it will be logic, software, and design as a whole. The new products at the MOMA will be games, will be code etc. The developers that made monument valley, there is the new art.

We are living in the software revolution. It’s just a matter of when it will burst. And when that happens, there will be a major shift. Millions will be unemployed, and those that possess logic, design, coding abilities will be the new ones in control.