Dream Big, Think Small

· A heuristic for approaching big challenges

Hoverboards, jetpacks, holograms, and “the next big thing:” none are everyday technologies not because we can’t envision them, but because we haven’t yet put together the capabilities to make them consumable technologies.

The buzzing, blinking, and beeping atmosphere mediated by our ever-on, ever-connected, and ever-present devices has made it clear that computer technology revolutions will be grounded in making computing more humane (UX). But what the next lifestyle shaping and culture-making product will be is almost impossible to say. It’s very hard to invent the future, but it is our job—and within our reach—to enable it. And the key to this is solving smaller problems.

We’ll consider how solving small and hard problems is what brings about capabilities, and it is capabilities—more so than vision—that is the link between our imagination and reality.

This talks was first given at the 2014 Fronteers Conference.

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