This post from Chris Dixon about the original paper for Bitcoin and the creator’s intentions got me thinking about intentions.
Companies, concepts and products rarely only grow larger; most change direction. Some people start trying to solve a problem one way and end up solving it in a different way. Some may solve a different problem completely. Sometimes, people find something they never expected in an area they weren’t looking and leave everything they started searching for.
These aren’t pivots where someone revisits their intentions; sometimes people head out in a direction, keep going and end up somewhere else doing something different than where they started.
- Coca-Cola started out as a medicine before becoming the worlds largest soft drink manufacturer.
- The Hitachi magic wand was meant for, um, full body use prior to the purpose it is successful for today.
- LSD went from a possible respiratory and circulatory stimulant, to a journey to new realms of consciousness, before becoming an illegal drug.
- The Urban Dictionary was started as a satire site before becoming what the New York Times called “the instant dictionary of the internet”.
- The internet itself was created to allow researchers across the US access to the limited number of supercomputers in existence at the time.
- Sometimes, even the creators can’t only not agree on their intentions but what it is they are building.
Ideas, technologies and platforms reorganize our world and enable activities in ways and at scales inconceivable at their creation. Inventions and intentions are almost always only the starting point for larger discoveries - sometimes near, sometimes far, from their genesis.
By constraining bitcoin to its creator’s intentions we may miss its full potential as… who knows?