Safety Eats The World

Marc Andreessen famously wrote a piece for the WSJ entitled “Why Software Is Eating The World” in 2011. Given how all we can think about these days is whether we’re out of harm’s way, I’m wondering if the right phrase for these days is instead, “Safety eats the world.”

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Let’s take that apart a bit, shall we?

First, let’s talk about safety. I’m thinking Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and that lowest layer — the physiological layer (air, food, water, warmth, rest, shelter) — and then above that layer is the safety layer (personal security, resources, health, stability. Tim van de Vall’s image is my favorite one out there.

Second, let’s talking about eating. And eating the world can sound a bit scary. Consider how Cookie Monster thinks of eating anything indiscriminately — but you still feel safe around him. Why? Because he only eats cookies voraciously — and as long as you’re not a cookie, you’re safe.

Unrelatedly, I like images of safety and how they include lifesavers — there’s a cool image to be made someday of an earth sitting within one of them. Also, there’s something about how we now perceive “dirty” as dangerous and threatening in a way that’s quite different than the past — like the recent aversion to cash by store owners.

Footnote: As a strange and funny coincidence, James Higa said the same thing at a recent meeting so it must be really happening :+).