Martin Cooper: The Purpose Of Technology
The Father Of The Cell Phone On Making Technology More Efficient And Accessible For All
This Pirate Profile is inspired by Martin Cooper on Christopher Lochhead's Follow Your Different podcast. Click “Play” below to listen to the full interview.
Pirates, today’s letter looks a bit different—and that’s because it’s the first of a NEW and DIFFERENT series called Pirate Profiles.
Pirate Profiles is a series by Category Pirates spotlighting legendary Category Designers across a wide range of industries and disciplines.
In these Profiles, you will discover:
Untold stories of Category Designers who shaped the world we live in today (that you probably have never heard of before—but whose products, services, and platforms you have used thousands of times!).
The radically different POVs these Category Designers evangelized in the world—and the obstacles they had to overcome to move people’s thinking FROM where it was TO somewhere new.
Their strategies, frameworks, and mental models for successfully designing & dominating new categories of consequence.
Every legendary entrepreneur, executive, investor, and creator of any kind is a Category Designer.
We want to tell their stories—because the best way to become a Pirate is to study other Pirates.
Dear Friend, Subscriber, and Category Pirate,
Martin Cooper believes everyone should have access to the internet, all the time.
As the "father of the cellphone," Cooper knows that online access is essential for advancing education, healthcare, energy, and innovation. In fact, he thinks we have all the wealth and resources in the world needed for every person on the planet. We just need to be more efficient at what we do and how we maximize technology.
That’s a radical idea.
It means that we don’t have to wait for a new scientific breakthrough or innovation to see a real change in the world. All we need to do is maximize the technologies we have today and use them for the betterment of society.
To understand this mindset, you have to understand Cooper's definition of technology:
"Technology is the application of science to create products and services that make people’s lives better."
“You can't say the word technology without understanding that it's people that technology is directed to help,” said Cooper. But he knows there are quite a few problems with technology we need to solve.
And he has plenty of ideas for solutions.
Inventing A Radically Different Way To Communicate
"There are more cell phones in the world now than there are people." - Martin Cooper
There’s no category of technology breakthrough in the last 100 years that is more important than the cell phone.
When you step back and really think about it, it’s not an exaggeration to say the mobile phone changed the trajectory of humanity.
Surveys show that people would rather give up their cars than their phones.
There's never been a piece of technology that the majority of people sleep with. A cell phone is often the first thing they look at before they go to bed and the first thing they interact with when they wake up.
Roughly 140 million Americans are Native Digitals who grew up with access to mobile phones, thanks to Cooper's invention.
Martin Cooper led the creation of the world’s first cell phone at Motorola—and made the first publicized call on it.
Cooper was a guest on Pirate Christopher's Follow Your Different podcast, where they talked about his book, Cutting the Cord: The Cellphone Has Transformed Humanity. Cooper also shared his first-person account of creating the cell phone, as well as his vision for the future of mobile technology.
Here’s Cooper’s story—and how he used Category Design to invent the cell phone.
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