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We may sometimes take for granted how quickly the world is changing, but who can say that the Internet has not brought about a revolution in technology that has seen the world transform before our eyes?
So let’s take a journey in time and recall what it was like just 20 years ago before software consumed the world.
Remember when … ?
- You had to wait 30 or 40 minutes for a cab? Or just not go to that event. Today: Uber lets you hail, not a cab, but a private person’s vehicle which is identified, mapped, and directed to you through the app.
- You had to open up the Yellow Pages, call a bunch of places, and drive around town to look for that product that you needed. Today: Log onto Amazon.com and order nearly anything you want with your Prime account, and receive it in 1-2 days.
- You had to stop at a gas station to ask for directions, or buy a map from the visitors center. Today: Google Maps + GPS gets you all the way, turn by turn, with a dot on the screen guiding you down the path and a computerized voice informing you of each step.
- You called your friends to see what was up. You graduated from high school or college and completely forgot about certain people. Today: Facebook and Instagram give you glimpses of each other’s lives, so that even though you haven’t lived in the same town as someone in decades, you still know that they’re engaged to be married in September with a baby on the way.
- You had to physically be at the office to get work done. Today: The Internet offers immense opportunity for collaboration using software tools like Basecamp & Skype/Google Hangouts, which make it possible to work with a team from just about anywhere in the world.
- You had to write your documents on a typewriter, and use white-out to correct mistakes. Today: For the last 10-15 years, Microsoft Word/Apple Pages have given us a blank slate to write and edit anything with ease.
- You had to write a letter, place it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and wait a few days for the message to reach your recipient. Today: Gmail gives you the ability to send mail to anyone in the world instantly.
- You went to the movies, or to Blockbuster, to see a movie. Today: Netflix gives you a regularly updated catalog of movies to watch online, with customized recommendations based on the films and shows you enjoy.
- You bought a record, or a CD, for $10-$20, to listen to those two songs that you liked from an artist. Today: Pandora lets you play a customized radio station tailored to the artists and songs you enjoy, and Spotify lets you play nearly any song that you want on demand for free.
- You took a picture and hoped it would come out good because you only had 24 potential photos in your roll of film. Today: Digital Cameras and mobile phone cameras let you take thousands of high quality images and send them to anyone in an instant.
- You organized political, social, or business campaigns through newspaper, radio, and television ads, casting a wide net to a mainstream audience. Today: Twitter and other social media allow people to share important messages, or memes, and worthy campaigns go viral on their own merit.
- You drove yourself to work and risked accidents amidst distractions. Soon: Self-driving cars will safely take us where we need to go, and car accidents will be a thing of the past.
It’s easy to forget that this online layer that exists in our lives is made possible through software, but the world is changing fast thanks to innovations in programming, computers, and the Internet.
Your idea could be next.
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