Getting people to work together is easier said than done.  Egos, opinions, politics, money, power, and perception can affect how people choose to interact. Movement one way or another can be influenced by expected outcomes or by an influential leader or facilitator that steps in to guide the process. How people decide to get from one state of being to another depends on what they decide to do moment to moment and can be guided by an overarching vision for the future.

Working at the interpersonal level can be just as hard as working to bring governments together to negotiate, say, a peace deal or trade policy. Smaller groups can be easier to work with than larger groups, but it doesn’t necessarily reduce the amount of complexity. The collision of systems of thinking can cause stress in an organization and synthesizing two or more ways of thinking about how something should be is not for the faint of heart.

This came to mind as I read about the ideas of Andy Rubin, who created the Android operating system which is used by “5 billion devices and almost 9 out of 10 smartphones worldwide.” On Tuesday, he unveiled his vision of the future of consumer devices:

“Phones with software that’s not consumed with bloatware or extra features from carriers like AT&T or Verizon. Devices in your home that all connect and communicate with each other, regardless of whether they’re made by Apple or Samsung or Google. ”

— Richard Nieva, c|net

His new company, Essential, will attempt to get tech companies and wireless providers to work together by being the point at which closed ecosystems are opened.

Rubin noted:

“Everybody’s creating an island by creating their own ecosystem,” Rubin said. “Building bridges is the best way to describe what we’re doing with the Home device.”

— Andy Rubin

Who else is talking about this?

WiredThe Father of the Android is Back, and He’s Built the Anti-IPhone

tom’s guide:   Essential One-Ups Galaxy S8 with This Wow Feature

engadgetAndy Rubin’s Essential phone should ship next month

techcrunchEssential’s road to mainstream success is a 10-year play

A few questions come to mind:

What do tech companies gain by opening their operating systems to others?

Will there be enough of an incentive for them to share?

Is there value to be created by building bridges with other companies?

How will this value be passed along to the users?

Will the design of the device be compromised or watered down by serving as a platform?

If the device is not smartphone, then what is it?

Will the smartphone still exist in ten years?

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