Tools vs. Craftsmen

Sunday morning and I’m watching an eleven-year old make a stop-motion animated movie.

He’s using tools that would have cost $100,000 or more a decade ago. And today, of course, they’re supercheap.

You can typeset using the finest graphic design tools ever made–for fifty cents a minute at Kinko’s, or at home with a $500 Mac Mini.

You can post your resume in more places and reach more people than any outsourcing firm ever could

And my friends at eyebeam just got a fancy 3D printer that allows them "output" just about any small three dimensional object they can imagine.

If you want to write a book, go ahead. You can write it and typeset at home, and get it professionally printed with no problem. And Amazon will sell it, right next store to Stephen King’s latest.

If you want to design a car or create a perfume or access a law library, same deal.

And if you want a blog, you can have the very same tools that the most popular bloggers have… for free.

The tools keep getting better and better.

Which means that the first barrier to entry–access to professional tools–is gone.

So there’s more, but is there better?

I think we gave a Disney movie, circa 1954, the benefit of the doubt. It was the movie in the theatre. It was the only one to choose from. It was a big deal. It didn’t matter if it was the best movie Walt ever made, because it was the only one right now.

The bar’s a lot higher, because access to tools is a lot easier.