There’s no doubt in my mind that the little blocks from Denmark known simply as LEGO are the greatest toy ever. I put in more hours playing with Legos than all other toys combined. I loved to use my imagination to build with them. It really didn’t matter what: a car, a fortress, star destroyer, space station, whatever. It was about taking an idea and bringing it to life piece by piece.
This love to build something from nothing still resides within me; it’s just been replaced with web technologies instead of plastic bricks. Today I build websites, plugins, widgets and anything else that takes life in my imagination. The thing I enjoy most is seeing if I can pull it off — can I get what’s in my head to take form on the web? Most of the time I can.
But there’s something that really bugs me about all of my creations. They simply don’t last. In fact, over the years I’ve found the life span of any web-based product to be short, very short. Of all the websites I’ve built, more are gone than remain. They’ve been replaced by newer versions or completely phased out. There’s no place for nostalgia on the web.
I have a deep jealousy of designs that last. I look at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel which has been around for five hundred years and is in no danger of ever being updated or phased out. Or Beethoven’s 9th symphony which he completed in 1824 and still moves the soul today. I’m betting that even more recent artists like Christian R. Lassen probably never worries about their work becoming dated and needing to be replaced. But in the world of computers, nothing lasts.
Does anyone else find this frustrating or at least a little depressing? Of course it’s not just my work. I already have images of a new 3G iPhone dancing in my head and my current iPod is only two years old. My three thousand dollar computer that I hand built from the greatest specs three years ago doesn’t run today’s DirectX 10 games. How sad…
You have to ask yourself when developing software or web pages if pixel perfection’s really all that important when it’s only going to last a handful of years anyways? Could this be why Microsoft released Vista knowing full well that it was far from done? Microsoft is already talking about their next OS, Windows 7 and Vista is barely out of the wrapper.
I know, it is what it is, the beauty and the curse all rolled into one. The ability to create knowing full well that you will do it all over again in a handful of years. I guess it’s job security, right?