We are part of an industry that by definition and design is forward looking. As a result, it is real easy to trick yourself into thinking that whatever you’re working on is somehow a breakthrough. The truth is, most of us merely imitate.
As with any market - risk is where you make or break your name. There’s almost no risk in becoming an iOS or Android developer today. But there is almost no upside, too. The time to do that was 7 years ago. With hindsight it seems such an obvious thing, I mean who would argue with the potential of the iPhone? Loads of people did.
I guess the word to look out for is - obvious. All those obviously “good” ideas you probably keep on having, well, they’re probably just mashups of recent news, popping up from your subconscience. That’s why you’re not the only one thinking they’re good, once mass media is ready to publish some idea, it’s no longer obscure.
Real breakthroughs happen when you’re looking to find a solution to a difficult problem. They happen on the fringes and in obscurity. Thus, if you want to contribute meaningfully, you have to dive into the obscure and carve out a path for others to see.
Just think about it, 7 years ago you were probably debating - web 2.0 or Flash. Some of us were, at least. Of course Flash was the only viable option for web app development, as was the accepted wisdom. And then what happened? The App store knocked down the door and while you were focused on the now, the landscape changed entirely.
So let’s make it a challenge: go and seek out the uncharted spaces on the map, and shine some light on them. Because in a few years, those might become obvious to us all. And if you’d like to share, I’d be more than happy to hear about whatever you’re working on or are interested to work on.
I can reply if you reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.