Sean Parker and the Notion of Disruption

In a recent Vanity Fair interview with Sean Parker, the guy who helped launch both Napster and Facebook, there’s a brief paragraph about the lack of “revolutionary thinkers” these days. He then goes on and mentions the phrase “disruptive technologies”, which for whatever reason has grabbed my imagination. There’s something quite interesting about the thought that the most revolutionary medium available today is the Internet. It’s pervasive in nearly all the corners of the world and has the potential to speak with millions of people. But what if we take that idea and apply it to everything we do in our day to day lives?

So I’ve been trying to figure out ways to “disrupt” my normal, day-to-day experiences, even in the smallest ways. When I write blog posts I don’t do a write-up about the press release I was sent, and if I see an idea being posted on every major blog I usually try to steer clear of it. I have no interest in regurgitating the same crap that everyone else does, I don’t want to post about your minimal, movie poster or your books that look like social networks. I want to write about things that inspire people and get people thinking about things that they normally wouldn’t.

Do I always accomplish this? Nope. But it’s something I think about a lot and try to remain conscious of when I do write. The same thing should be said of design. I’m totally guilty of aging fonts to make them older and using the same old typefaces over and over. Why? Because it’s comfortable. I know that people find these things aesthetically pleasing (myself included) and so I continue to use it, like a trusty tool in a toolbox.

What I’m becoming curious about and trying to do more of is expand my comfort zone and create things that might make people uncomfortable because they’re unfamiliar. Things that are outside the realm of the norm or change in general can usually freak people out. This is a great example of disruption and something that excites me.

If you have any ideas you want to share click the title and leave a comment or a thought of your own.


September 10, 2010