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Eureka: What's a startup ecosystem?
by Jay Gutman
2017-10-08 11:42:57
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There's the hardware and there's the software. The hardware is what comes at the bottom of the pyramid, then you have the different layers of software piling up until they reach the top of the pyramid. For example you have the laptop, then you have high-speed internet connection, then you have the internet browser, then you have the website, then you have the video or script. Put that on a larger scale and you get the idea.

eco01_400_01The advantage if you create hardware is that you don't depend on anyone for the software. You're the king. But getting hardware to go viral or mainstream is difficult, as most people and companies don't want too many gadgets piling up in their office.

When you have the hardware you're the king, as you decide a lot of what kind of software can be compatible or incompatible with your hardware. But then if you're too picky about the software, you're letting your competitors win.

Hardware isn't just laptops, smartphones and tablets. It can also be pipelines, dams, rockets, water pipes, turbines, you name it. These and many more are increasingly flexible or adaptable with software that goes with it.

Then you have the software. Software is basically what enables the hardware to perform a function. You can't have software without hardware, and software is often designed and encoded to perform with the software. If you can program software that can be adapted to different hardware I commend you dear genius and bow to you as a mere mortal.

Of course by different sorts of hardware I don't mean different types of computer brands or phone brands, I mean machines that operate completely different functions. Say a wind turbine and a space ship if you know what I mean.

Then you have the different layers of software, some are interchangeable and some are not. The world wide web is one layer that supports many different layers, but then it's not the only layer. You have different types of software that is used for different hardware, say in an assembly line or in a crops field.

Now the main catch in the startup ecosystem is that you have societies where almost everyone is working on the same software or hardware, so a lot of people create startups trying to sell different variations of the same software. So, if you want your startup ecosystem to thrive, you want to break up your compter science majors and other geeks into different groups that look at completely different fields. Say some look at oncology, others brain surgery, others at soybean farming and others at shoes and footware design. You get the idea. You don't want the rumors to have it that one guy invented software for brain surgery and suddenly have your entire country's computer science majors try to invent the next gadget for brain surgery. That's what you need for a healthy startup ecosystem.

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Emanuel Paparella2017-10-08 11:59:45
As usual there is another side to this coin of hardware and software and it is the humanistic side. Kierkegaard called it the sickness unto death; that is to say, a form of dehumanization that conceives of the human body as a machine and human society as a computer with hardware and software and ignores the purpose and the point of it all...

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