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September 10, 2009

记得当年申请出国的时候,我被一个说法搞的有点糊涂,就是这个学位到底是科学【science】还是艺术【art】。国内一般的分法是文,理和工。对应到美国,就是文科算art,理工算science/engineering。

但是美国人对艺术,其实比国内要重视的多。一般中文论坛上面,叫人“文科生”,基本上就是贬义,但是在美国,我曾经和一个chief architect(中文应该叫总设计师)聊过,他在做到这个职位之前,做过数年经理。他给我的建议是,管理是艺术,而技术工作则是工程。

说这些是因为这几天在考虑一个问题:一个伟大的互联网科技公司,是否可以用推理的方法建立起来?基本结论是否定的。因为在计算机发展的这些年里面,那些伟大的发明创造,以及建立在这些创造之上的伟大的公司,往往是出于那些创始人丰富的想象力,和他们伟大的执行力。而科学和工程中最有力的机械的推理,在公司初创的时候,往往给出的是负面的结论。

以苹果为例,这是一家所有产品都充满了艺术气息的公司,在周围的技术公司都忙着给自己贴“数字”,“机器”,“设备”的标签的时代,她就使用了苹果这个别致的标志;在大家都在用命令行的时代,她的图形界面,简直就是在浪费宝贵的计算资源;在其他手机厂商拼命的把QWERT挤到狭小的机身或者屏幕上面的时候,她建立了优雅的操作方式。

再比如Amazon,在网络购物还没有出现的时候,卖用户摸不到的东西,而且用户还必须付运费?这在当时简直就是个笑话。当然比这个笑话更大的,是让大家在网络的跳蚤市场里面卖旧货。

当然现在我们可以捧起一本《长尾》,把这些成功的公司讲的头头是道,但是别忘了,我们现在是站在一个搜索树的节点,往过去看。这么看的时候,回到95年只有一条路,那些公司的成功是那么的顺理成章。

而我们回身向未来张望的时候,才会痛彻的意识到,前方的选择是如此的多,成功的可能是如此的少,人生又是如此的短暂,我们没有一台不确定的图灵机

怎么办呢?如爱迪生所说“天才就是1%的灵感加上99%的汗水,但那1%的灵感恰恰是最为重要的”。在探索的丛林里,需要一点动物般的直觉,一点艺术的灵感来指引,剩下的,就是让理智,让科学和工程去忠实的执行。

这样的说法肯定会让投资人不太舒服,毕竟投资是需要确定的回报的,但是互联网这个时代,用户需要的就是一点惊喜,一点平时看不到的东西。所以,一个可以把艺术和科学结合起来的人,才是最关键的。因为他可以象肥皂的分子,把油和水拉在一起。

如果这些话还不够让人不舒服的话,那么我那天从一个艺术系教授那里听来的话,就更有冲击力了。他说,如果你需要一个良好的艺术设计,那么一定要让一个设计师来做。一个委员会投票搞出来的,一定是俗品。

3 Comments »

  1. 艺术还是要有工程基础的,apple当时的图形界面如此,技术的实现手段在产品上是必须的,但是技术的稀缺程度远没有艺术高。

    Comment by Himmelskorper — September 10, 2009 @ 6:03 pm

  2. 你说的很有道理,我想,其实最稀缺的,是把两者糅合起来,然后变成产品的人。如果这个产品还能卖钱,那这样的人两只手就数得出来了。

    Comment by 美人她爹 — September 10, 2009 @ 9:51 pm

  3. The OnePlus One uses a Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz – a tried and true 32-bit processor for its day but the 64-bit Exynos octa-core used in the Galaxy S6 is two generations better in processing power.

    Comment by Element Ronin iPhone 6 Plus Cases — April 6, 2015 @ 5:08 am

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