Living in the Future

Paul Graham’s latest essay - How to get startup ideas - is a great read.

I was struck by the Bucheit/Pirsig conjecture:

“Live in the future, then build what’s missing.”

and the following paragraph regarding ideas that come out of folks’ experience at college.

pg encourages those readers who are still studying to take classes unrelated to their CS major so that they may see more problems worth solving. In contrast, what struck me about this paragraph was how much, for me, college was like living in the future. In the late nineties, I lived in an environment where every single member of my social circle had an always-on 10 Mbit connection to the Internet and spent inordinate amounts of time communicating via email, IM etc. It seems like no coincidence that so many successful Internet companies were born out of students of that era. I doubt that today’s students encounter the future of much at all in their dorm rooms. Perhaps universities should be working hard to make sure that campus living is more like living in the future than setting up mobile app development courses, incubators etc etc.