Recently I was having dinner with a colleague, who asked me if I thought the rate of change in Internet related technology was increasing, rather than proceeding at a more gradual and predictable rate.
I responded that it felt like it was increasing, but could not put my finger on why I felt that way.After pondering it some more, I think there are 3 reasons behind my gut feeling:
The move to cloud computing - Being able to provision (set up) a server in a matter of minutes, take it down when you are done, and only pay for the time you used it, is a revolutionary change. Freed from the limits of tying up capital and human resources, it is so much easier to try new ideas and grow existing companies. The full effects of this are just beginning to be felt.
Growth of mobile devices -
Since the dawn of the (commercial) Internet 15 years ago, all development was directed at browsers running on desktop computers. This year, mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, and others) will outpace the desktops. Think millions of Chinese with iphones who have never seen a PC. This will have revolutionary impacts on the folks who design and build websites.
Recently, Ray Ozzie left his post at Microsoft. In his exit memo, entitled "Dawn of a New Day
", he wrote about the 2 trends noted above, and how Microsoft was not doing such a great job in adapting to these trends. However, there is a third trend that is driving change:
Globalization - The massive increase in global Internet access means that both producers and consumers of Internet content can and are located all over the world. Internet professionals in the US compete with Internet savvy folks all over the world now.
When I was born in 1955, the United States was the global commercial powerhouse, mostly because the rest of the world was either rebuilding from WWII or strangled by Communism. Today, we are competing against a vibrant, interconnected world economy. But, if we believe in that fundamental capitalistic concept that competition is good, the world and the Internet should be a better place for it.