Opening Doors

When you open a door, if the people following you hold the door open, no one has to go through the effort of opening it again.

This is true for a lot of things. When we put in the effort to solve a problem, we can spare everyone else the hassle by showing our work.

This is why the open source software movement is so important, for example. When a programmer solves a problem and publishes the answer, everyone else gets to freely benefit from it.

Because of this, software development increasingly resembles building with legos. Simply break new problems into a series of smaller problems that have already been solved. By assembling these existing components together, programmers can increase the speed and impact of their work.

The same is true of ideas. When you share a way of looking at the world with others, it opens their eyes to what’s possible. And thanks to the internet, the opportunity to share your ideas with billions of other people is now free.

We’re only just starting to understand the implications of this. But one thing is already clear: The internet enables human potential at scale. By providing access to an unprecedented amount of information and facilitating collaboration, the web enables us to collectively solve ever more sophisticated issues.

The answers to humanity’s greatest problems won’t come from individuals working in isolation. They’ll come from groups of people assembling the building blocks of others’ work into new, innovative solutions.

Let’s keep opening doors for each other.

See also: Abstraction


Reflections on creating systems to sustainably grow your impact on the world.
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