Angelo DiNardi

Doin' shit on the web since 1995.

Solving more complicated things

22 December 2010

It seems like every day there’s another startup in Silicon Valley solving a problem that no one really had. It seems like everyone is building iOS applications for their new social network. Maybe they’re just building a new social game. Perhaps they’re planning on leveraging a new paradigm of synergy for their social interaction model friend finder crap-o-gasm. It’s all the same and not actually solving a real problem anyone has.

How in the world do you identify a problem that needs solving? You can look to yourself and see what you need. You can check out <insert hot social network here> and see what’s popularly complained about. You can talk to people. It should be pretty obvious what people really are complaining about and it seems those problems would be great things to be solved.

To me one of the biggest issues lately is “Net Neutrality” and terrible wireless connectivity providers (AT&T being one). But wait, you say, we have ways to solve these! We’ll start a Facebook fan-guestbook-sharing-page and complain about it on there! Someone is sure to hear us and care.

Um no.

Instead of sitting around making another social network, a time wasting “social” game, or way to share the inane moments of my life – we should be trying to solve harder issues which aggravate and cause concern. What about something like an alternative wireless connectivity provider that isn’t as hated or as just plain evil as AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile/Sprint/etc? There’s no underdog, no competition. You pick one evil or another. You get gouged and cheated by one or another.

All I want is a wireless service provider that charges REASONABLE rates for data, SMS, and general usage. A provider that acknowledges issues (coverage, outage, etc). A provider that isn’t out to see how much they can charge and lock you in. A provider that isn’t bloated and trying to sustain it’s obesity.

I’ve always believed that businesses should compete based on their product and services alone. They shouldn’t go out of their way to lock you in or unfairly harm their competitor. If they have a better product or service they’ll succeed, otherwise they’ll fail. Simple. It seems in the land of wireless and ISPs today the more evil and dastardly the more successful.

I think the wireless world needs to look at how Sonic.net is taking the Bay Area by storm as an ISP. Making inroads against AT&T and Comcast is no easy feat – but I believe they are doing it. With a quality product and awesome people they’ve made the whole idea of an ISP less horrible of a thing to think about. Hell, I’m happy to give them money every month. You know what’s crazy too, they’ve been LOWERING their prices. Lower. I don’t think AT&T or Comcast could even DREAM of such a thing.

I’m disappointed no one has attempted to tackle building a superior wireless service provider in the Bay Area. We have some of the smartest minds and a whole metric fuck-ton of money – what else do you need? Sure this wouldn’t be as easy as taking a few months and building yet another way to share shitty pictures, but the time and money investment could actually help to make us all happier and the bitching on Twitter drop ever so slightly.

If everyone hates something so much – it seems like someone new coming in to town would be met with a hero’s welcome. That said, you’d have to get the first impressions right – and that’s the hard part. Now isn’t this more interesting than your new Facebook game? Where do we start?