Aren’t you bored by all of these Steve Jobs wannabes? I’m meeting them everywhere. It seems every narcissist in every field (including here in the bike world) has a mentor, mater and new excuse. What they don’t realise is there is no great wave like the internet coming for them to ride. They can come up with all the “just do its” “think differents” or “choose lifes” but unless they are part of another historic consumer swindle like home computing their biographies won’t be replacing any on Jobs, or Atlas Shrugged as the bible for wankers any time soon.
The only wave on the horizon that I can see is the bicycling wave but the bike industry itself is so well established, so diffuse, and so immune from major IP disruption that no one can be its Bill Gates.
The only field set to boom as bike transport rises is the field I am leading, environmental design with new-build, and it’s a field that’s immune from monopolisation through patents. That’s because every building solves the problems of its own unique context. Ideas that in other fields might be patentable are more like the idea of the diamond frame or the crank set. Architects own copyright to the extend that particular designs can’t be stamped upon subsequent sites without them being paid a fee, but since sites are so different, that is not something that commonly happens.
So what do I get for being a pioneer? Well, nothing if I’m wrong about cycling increasing, and maybe it won’t—maybe a virus will wipe us all out. I get nothing for my ideas being wrong, which because they’re experimental most will be. What I get is the personal satisfaction of knowing I got my foot to the ball and like any under-six soccer player, kicked it the right way down the field. The greatest satisfaction is hearing of direct influences my writing is having on architectural practice and education. I spoke at Singapore’s archifest to 1000 architects in 2012 and am now seeing proposals like this, for a new shopping mall in that country. There’s my reward!
As you might guess, I just saw this film on a plane