Last Tuesday we were at the Amsterdam Science park for a meetup about the trending topic: Design thinking in Tech. We gave the floor to Bob van Luijt, this turned out to be a success! He explained how software has become a commodity. An eye-opener? For the audience, the pieces fell together and the penny has dropped.
The speaker is inspired by executive, designer, and technologist: John Maeda. A bit envious of his imposing resume? Maybe… but Bob’s CV is not so bad itself. About 8 years ago he started his own company, namely Kubrickology. This is a company focussed on writing software, but in the meantime, they have already made the transition to a fully fletched design agency. Bob speaks of himself as a creative technologist and designer.
A convergence of tech and design
Since the age of 9, Bob developed his passion for technology. ‘My dad had an IBM XT which had a software program on it.’ This program asked me: ‘What is your name?’, I replied with: ‘Bob’. The audio recorder reacted to this with: ‘Hi Bob’, I found this amazing! Eventually, I started studying Arts. It was until after my study that my passion for arts and technology grew and I started combining these two subjects in creating software and design’, says the speaker. The software is a phenomenon of the contemporary world, so in retrospect, it was a good decision. Software became a commodity, according to Bob. ‘At the moment that technology and software appear anywhere, software has become mainstream. Nowadays business equals technology. The time of just starting up a business and in the process concluding that it would be convenient to use a certain software has passed. At present, the business is the technology. There is no distinction between these two. Everything you design contains software. Business, software and design are completely fused together.’
Speaking through software
‘I began to wonder why I was doing what I did: why was I developing software?’ This question got stuck in my mind. I basically ended up with the idea that I just liked creating something that people will be using. A software developer needs to be aware that you communicate with people through software. Furthermore, developers need to realise that they create something for people. That interests me enormously.’