by lifting the existing ones up


Hello everyone,

Frrom the Book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman.

When the world is flat you can put all the tools out there for every-one, but the system is still full of friction. But the world is fast when the tools disappear, and all you are thinking about is the project. “In the twentieth century, the constraint was all about the hardware and making the hardware faster—faster processors, more servers,” said Wanstrath. “The twenty-first century is all about the software. We cannot make more humans, but we can make more developers, and we want to empower people to build great software by lifting the existing ones up and opening up the world of development to create more coders . . . so they can create the next great start-up or innovation project.”

Does “ones” refer to people or software? And if it refer to people does “by lifting the existing ones up” mean by inspiring the exsisting people/developers?

Thank you.


I would read ‘by lifting the existing ones up’ as referring to existing softwares being improved.
“We want to empower people … by lifting the existing ones up” [= people] could sound very awkward to me.


Thank you, Eugene.


Just one more word.
The way the excerpt was written (the ‘making humans\developers’ part in particular), you could well have read it both ways. Still the verb ‘to empover’ (=to equip or supply with an ability; enable\ to encourage and support the ability to do something) is a pointer to me here: you can only equip people with the ability to build great software by lifting the existing ones up (= softwares), not otherwise.


Thank you again, Eugene.