With both paradigms in computing, there is a group of individuals who play a magical role: software developers. Developers turn their dreams into the software, which the computer puts to work at a wonderous efficiency. Limits placed on these people have a magnified effect, because we're ultimately limiting what the rest of humanity can do.
We think both the personal and cloud computers of today place substantial limits on millions of these people, all around the planet.
While personal computers are great at running the infrastructure that powers their software, they are not built for making their programs and data remotely accessible. This is a huge limit on the kinds and power of ideas that developers can create.
In contrast, cloud computers are good at enabling software and data that is widely accessible. But in exchange, they ask developers to pay an extreme price. They require developers to fight a tooth-and-nail battle creating, operating, and paying for a complex web of cloud infrastructure.
Additionally, as authors, developers are arguably the most important end-users of computers. Many of their brilliant ideas for everyone else come from using, exploring, and tinkering for themselves. Cloud computers and their software today do not empower them, as end-users, to do this. Instead, developers have little control of their own personal cloud stuff, crucial raw material to build and explore with.
Taken together, we think these limits are holding back billions of dreams, waiting to do.