Joe Stump on How Solving Tech Problems Helps Make the World Smaller

In Chapter 13 of 16 of his 2009 Capture Your Flag interview, entrepreneur and programmer Joe Stump defines his technologist role as solving problems to make the world smaller through making technology as accessible to people as possible. Stump aims to lower Internet user technology barriers to entry. He provides examples from eNotes, specifically getting people accessible, easy-to-use study materials to elevate classroom performance, to Digg, getting people information they want so they may share and discuss with others.


Erik Michielsen:  How do you take your passion for building virtual skyscrapers as a programmer and map that to a deeper life purpose?

Joe Stump:  I feel very strongly that technology has changed humanity for the better.  The world is becoming smaller, and that is a great thing, and technology is making that happen at a pace that we would have never been able to achieve without it.  My purpose as a technologist and as a programmer is to facilitate that as much as I can and to make technologies as accessible as I can.  As an engineer, I look at the world and see problems that need to be solved…and I think that is core to being a guy – they say men are fixers. 

My passion is technology and the great thing about that is technology is something that, right now, and has traditionally a high barrier to entry, and I like lowering those barriers to entry.  At Digg, it was about getting people the information that they want and allowing them to share it and discuss it as easy as possible.  At e-notes it was about getting people the materials that they needed to get As in class and making it as accessible and easy to use as possible.