The original saying was from Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest artists. To be honest, I don’t know his story and how he said that. I am not going to talk about art. Steve Jobs, also said the same thing refering to Picasso. He said on an interview ‘We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.’ Well, he actually said an opposit thing on a patent issue with Htc as ‘competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours’. Most technological inovations are inspired by either natural things or existing ones or combining some of it. We have heard a lot of countries grew through copying other countries technology and making it to the best of their people, marketing it with another brand and finally creating their own.
I was listening to dotnet rocks podcase and the interview was with a guy who moved from Microsoft to google. One of the question they asked him was ‘do you think Microsoft can learn something from google?’ Well, in my opinion, they do have something to learn. However, I am not going to talk about Microsoft or google as a company. There is something clear that I have noticed this month as Google brought lots of its engineers to Ethiopia, which I haven’t seen from Microsoft. It shows the difference in ways of how they see the market here or anyother reason. What I noticed attending the event was, most people working on Microsoft technologies were there to see if there is something they can learn from google or may be switch.
I started my professional software development with dot net. I loved it the first time I saw it and I promised it we’ll be friends forever The first time I saw C#, I was trying to see what the story behind is and almost all say it has it’s inspirations from java beside the others. The more I stay with C# and tried to solve problems with it, there comes other challenges which have solutions in other languages/ frameworks. As dot net framework gets enahanced to versions 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and now 4.5 I have seen lots of progress both from Microsoft itself and from the open source contributors. That doesn’t mean other languages or frameworks don’t have problems. There are lots of new things which are new to dot net but not in others.
If we see the world of cellphones, we notice the same kind of scenario- another world of copying and stealing. Android, ios, windows phone come from three different companies with their own brand but clearly enough one copying the other, but not an exact one. The cloud services and tablets are also another world. Social networking sites, facebook, myspace, google plus and all revolve around the same concept but with different approach. When I talked about open data and the experience other countries have, well that is copying. There are lots of similar things to take from, including the work culture, not only the ‘valentines day’ culture only as we saw yesterday
I think we have to be good artists first and copy the experience of other countries to bring change in the community, the experience of other companies to bring change to ours and that of other people to ourselves. There is a saying, it is enough for a student if he is good as his teacher ( this is not the exact sentence but the meaning as i understand it). If we do this, we are equal to our teacher. Then comes the idea of adding our own experience, inovation to what we built. This might look like it discourages creativity and being unique. I know this doesn’t work for all genius people out there who can create things out of nothing. That is an exception.