The web is incredible. I love the web. In so many ways it has improved the lives of millions by transforming society, education, culture, community, and commerce. But the most amazing thing about the web is simple yet devastatingly powerful, and the whole reason the web exists in the first place. It’s the humble hyperlink.
You’re here because you followed a link. You’re able to access this content without the need to log in, enter a password or download an app. I can provide you with access to this content without an approval process (through a company or a government). You’re able to view this content in a matter of seconds, not minutes. And this content is provided to you entirely free of charge, without ads, fees or a hidden agenda. Or at least I hope so.
Because of all this, you’re able to share this content. If you do, you’ll know with almost absolute certainty that your receiver will be able to access it, immediately and freely use it and share it, just as you did.
For over 20 years I’ve made software in a variety of programming languages, for a variety of machines and platforms. Yes, native code can produce fast and powerful software. Developers and designers should always use the most appropriate platform for the job at hand. Yet still, for me, the web has always been the most exciting platform to create for directly because of its ubiquity and reach, and despite its shortcomings.
I’m not a snob about the programming languages of the web. I don’t care what language I need to learn to create content for the web, or what tools I need to use. The language and the tools will always be a means to an end — that is, the radical ability to provide free and instant access to any content for everyone on the Internet.
You and I have most likely never met. We may even live on different continents. Yet with a simple link I am able to show you anything I wish, created by me or someone else, from any time in recent history. This is why I create for the web. It’s the power to communicate anything I can imagine, instantly. It’s the capability to reach anyone with access to the web, instantly. And it’s the ease with which I can send you off on your next journey to anywhere I wish, instantly, all with a little link.