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How to Invent the Future I - Stanford CS183F: Startup School

Stanford Online2017-05-25
Stanford#Y Combinator#XeroxPARC#HP#Apple#Alan Kay#CS#YC#Computer Science#CS183F#How to invetnt the future I
37K views|7 years ago
💫 Short Summary

Renowned computer scientist Alan Kay stresses the importance of innovation over incremental thinking, advocating for the creation of industries rather than startups for success. He challenges traditional education methods and highlights the limitations of classroom settings. The video discusses the evolution of object-oriented programming and the contributions of Xerox PARC to technology. It emphasizes the significance of long-term thinking and public funding in driving innovation, tracing back to the Cold War era. The importance of teamwork and progress in achieving success is also emphasized. The segment showcases early innovations in computer graphics and problem-solving capabilities, focusing on the impact of SketchPad in the 1960s.ARPA's approach to funding individuals for innovation and collaboration is highlighted, along with the origin of the Internet inspired by Licklider's vision. The video stresses the importance of developing talent from a young age and solving significant human problems for societal progress. It also discusses the manipulation of baselines to appear successful and criticizes reliance on chemical rocketry for space travel. The concept of inventing the future by leveraging cosmic intuition and exponential growth is explored, encouraging the audience to live in the future and bring innovative ideas back to the present for success.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Alan Kay emphasizes the importance of innovation over incremental thinking in achieving financial success.
01:21
Kay advocates for creating industries rather than startups for greater financial rewards.
He challenges traditional education methods, pushing for a more engaging learning environment.
Kay criticizes the limitations of classroom settings and promotes a more interactive approach to education.
His insights underscore the value of thinking beyond the present to drive significant change and innovation.
Importance of art as a lie that tells the truth and the role of intuition and learning in creativity.
04:40
Emphasis on Picasso's quote about learning rules to break them like an artist and critique of Silicon Valley for not following this approach.
Discussion on innovation at Xerox PARC in the 1970s and their advanced technology influencing future commercial development.
Highlighting the impact of inventing the future and the lasting contributions of Xerox PARC's work, including GUI and desktop publishing.
Limitations of web authoring tools compared to consumption tools.
09:34
Evolution of object-oriented programming and its differences from past practices.
PARC's contributions to technology, such as Ethernet and Postscript, with a significant return on investment.
Debunking the myth that Xerox didn't benefit from PARC innovations, citing substantial return on investment.
Illustration of how resistance to change and innovation can hinder progress and success in companies.
Lack of innovation in large companies creates opportunities for startups and venture capitalists.
15:53
Stagnation in invention and curiosity has led to a decline in groundbreaking ideas.
Importance of long-term thinking and public funding in fostering innovation is highlighted.
Success of projects like ARPA and Xerox PARC in driving technological advancements is emphasized.
Innovation history dates back to the Cold War era, where research was fueled by external funding and collaboration.
Importance of Radar Systems in World War II.
20:03
Collaboration between scientists and engineers led to technological advancements and Nobel Prizes.
Radar systems were crucial in countering German submarines and contributed to the victory in the war.
Post-war era saw advancements in air defense systems and interactive displays at MIT.
Emphasis on teamwork and progress over individual ego for success.
Discussion of a massive computer system with 50,000 vacuum tubes used for air traffic control.
21:58
The system was designed to handle American and Russian bombers and operated until 1982.
Constant tube replacements were required due to frequent failures.
Despite becoming outdated with the rise of ICBMs, the system was maintained.
Vacuum tubes were sourced from Russia even during the Cold War and are still purchased today for vintage guitar amps.
Early ideas of information utilities and the concept of a device in homes connected to all the world's information as a human right.
25:59
Showcase of the first computer graphics system called Sketchpad, enabling users to draw and solve dynamic problems.
Demonstration of object-oriented programming concepts through the creation of master objects and instances.
Highlight of the computational power needed for displaying graphics and the ability to manipulate and customize objects with constraints.
Illustration of early innovations in computer graphics and problem-solving capabilities.
The impact of the groundbreaking SketchPad program in the 1960s.
31:27
Ivan Sutherland's work introduced interactive computer graphics and problem-solving programming.
SketchPad led to the creation of automatic dynamics simulations, challenging traditional programming methods.
The program revolutionized the research community and highlighted the potential for future technological advancements in computers.
The segment also discusses Licklider's vision of computers as interactive intellectual amplifiers.
ARPA's approach focused on funding people, not projects, allowing for innovation and collaboration among smart individuals.
35:02
The emphasis was on providing support for those with extreme potential and a drive to solve challenging problems.
The strategy involved granting funds for five years without the expectation of immediate results, similar to the MacArthur grants for individuals.
The concept of problem finding over project funding was highlighted, with an emphasis on milestones rather than strict deadlines.
The comparison of baseball to golf illustrated the importance of perseverance and learning from failures in achieving significant outcomes.
The visionary origins of the Internet.
39:11
Licklider's memo in 1963 laid the groundwork for an intergalactic computing network.
Emphasis on thinking globally and innovatively, beyond traditional boundaries like the Beltway in Washington, DC.
Bob Taylor and Larry Roberts were key figures in bringing Licklider's vision to life.
Taylor's understanding of Licklider's concepts was crucial for the success of the project.
Importance of creating necessary tools, hardware, software, and operating systems for technology development.
42:30
Emphasizing the need for skilled individuals to create their own solutions rather than relying on pre-existing options.
ARPA community's approach of starting with software to optimize computer design.
Value of developing talent from a young age, similar to baseball's approach.
Reward of working on actual problems and focusing on clarity in arguments and understanding complex concepts.
Importance of solving big human problems and technological advancements.
45:40
Focus on providing drinkable water for the majority of the planet that lacks access.
Discussion on Moore's Law and the concept of doubling every two years.
Development of tablets and early forms of virtual reality technology.
Emphasis on investing in meaningful projects for societal progress and innovation.
Discussion on measuring progress, manipulation of baselines, and conditioning the public.
50:52
Importance of achieving a 'Sweet Spot' for new possibilities.
Criticism of reliance on chemical rocketry for space travel due to limitations and inefficiencies.
Frustration at missed opportunities to use atomic power for higher exhaust velocity.
Emphasis on the need for innovative thinking and exploration beyond conventional methods.
Leveraging cosmic intuition and exponential growth to invent the future.
55:21
Predicting technological advancements 30 years ahead and investing in them to create innovative products.
Optimizing code and utilizing supercomputers to anticipate future applications and user interfaces.
Cost of implementing strategies and examples of successful outcomes like the Alta supercomputer.
Xerox's reaction to these innovative approaches.
Emphasis on inventing the future from the future rather than innovating from the present.
57:41
Encouragement to escape the present by taking ideas to the extreme and then bringing them back.
Living in the future and bringing it back to the present for success.