When future civilizations 1000 years from now look back on today, the harnessing of digital information will be the single most significant contribution of our time. Humanity's advances during the information age will be as important as the development of agriculture, the formation of cities, the invention of writing, and the development of economic systems.
Harnessing the total value of digital information means creating systems that promote the exchange of data and information across borders and through time. We will need to rethink how we collect, store, process, own, share and protect data that individuals, communities, and societies create. Textile is a technology company focused on turning those new ideas into products and tools for builders.
Carl Sagan once said that you could measure the progress of any civilization in the universe by the scale of information it can access. That relationship means a civilization's ability to solve critical challenges in its progress (e.g., eradicating disease or becoming multi-planetary) correlates with information availability. However, today we see an imbalance in the way society is creating information. Digital data we create is being collected and controlled by closed organizations. To progress society faster, we must develop systems that promote new ways to distribute, share, and trade information and data across society.
The mechanisms that we use to collect, store, process, own, share and protect data are encoded in the technologies we build. Capturing data without opening the technology used to organize and process that data into information can leave future generations blind to how those steps occurred. We must aim to make technologies and the decisions they encode open and sustainable.
Likewise, the challenges we face as an organization, and the decisions we make to address them, will be equally important to future generations. We should strive to document the decisions made within our organization and then, with reasonable time, make them open to society.
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At Textile, we build products as experiments to test assumptions about protocols, networks, and users. We use each product to gather new data and leapfrog our previous innovations. The products below are each at different stages; some have found their own vibrant communities while others are just getting off the ground.