Transcender

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One of the most useful mental habits I know I learned from Michael Rabin: that the best way to solve a problem is often to redefine it.

The way to kill it is to redefine the problem as a superset of the current one. The problem is not, what operating system should people use on desktop computers? but how should people use applications? There are answers to that question that don’t even involve desktop computers.

Everyone thinks Google is going to solve this problem, but it is a very subtle one, so subtle that a company as big as Google might well get it wrong. I think the odds are better than 50-50 that the Windows killer– or more accurately, Windows transcender— will come from some little startup.

— Paul Graham

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2010.03.15 Monday ACHK