A new kind of technologist

A new kind of technologist is arising, one that is defining how companies that define the market are defined. Interestingly enough this new phenomenon is totally happening under the radar of the traditional media firms that report on the tech industry.

Who are these new technologists?

Meet the proto-preneurs.

Proto-preneurs were there before your startup happened. While you were thinking which bricks needed laying in order to get your start-up up and running, the proto-preneurs had already shaped those bricks and were handling them over to you to use; but you were too busy looking for some funding to even notice.

proto-preneurship is not meassured in Github stars, but in backed start-ups built on the tech laid by a proto-preneur

The proto-preneurs are those developers that build the tools on which modern, founded, start-ups are built on. They are the elite of open source development, but make no mistake, this is not about being the best coder, but about being the coder that solves the right problem. Not every open-source developer is a proto-preneur; proto-preneurship is not meassured in Github stars, but in backed start-ups built on the tech laid by a proto-preneur.

Proto-preneurs, as the name indicates, like to be pioneers in everything they do (proto: first, before everything). They were the first remote workers in tech, crafting code without barriers or borders; they started the NoHR Movement, where acquiring talent is an organic process; they had their own team chat-rooms before you were asked by your own company IT to setup your Slack password; and they have the vision to start working on a new tool before the industry even realise the need for it.

The world wide web was well served by Apache, but along came Nginx, to satisfy the future needs of scalability; an awkward relational language tried to be the standard for querying data on the web, but then NoSQL happened, paving new ways to store, retrieve and forget data; communication formats were xml-ly and ugly until JSON overthrow them by the sheer power of curly brackets.

I can keep going…

The point is that while many of us were content swimming inside a warm ocean of status quo, there were proto-preneurs out there stretching the limits of what was technically possible to build the tools of tomorrow.

We didn’t know them. We didn’t notice them. They didn’t ask for credit. They just built tools for us to use. Now is time to embrace this turba. It’s time to growth-hack ourselves into proto-preneurship.

Become a proto-preneur.