Alan Kay's heirarchy

I’ve been following the $100 laptop story and while I’m hopeful, I’m also reserved in my enthusiasm. I’ve done it a couple times, but I don’t really care to post links to entries on my blog; however, following this story - and the links surrounding it - led me to one site in particular with a post today that seemed so relevant to Industrial Design that I thought it worth sharing.

My first, hesitant post on the latest news of the laptop - Cargotecture or Laptop; and my post today - The $100 Laptop Lapdance

Be sure to check out the last link in the second post. You might someday want to use that in a meeting with management.

…as i recall the ‘industry’ didn’t create the pc…it was developed underground…hobbyists were buying parts and kits from radio shack and other supply houses…writting thier own software and sharing it with other hobbyists…memory was very expensive then (my first computer had 1k of ram and my rom was a casette tape recorder)…any ui wasted memory ($$$)…now memory is cheap and a pc which anyone can use is not only possible, but common…$100 is also what i paid for my first pc, 25 years ago, but i had to solder it together and plug it into my own b&w tv and tape recorder.

I think you missed something. Bit of difference between the evolution of the PC and the point of Lee’s post. More appropriate I think would be an example of having a company come to an industrial designer and say something like “We already make stuff using this process/hardware/technique, so let’s solve Problem A using just what we know/already do.” That’s a bottom up approach. Fine if you’re designing for a company and the goal is heavily constrained by business issues (seasonal slowdowns > use idle machines; outdated process > find new product opportunities; aso). Not so good when the only goal is solving a problem.