February 6, 2009 Leave a comment
Few days ago I was thinking about how the technology has evolved in the past several years. Maybe we are witnessing the fastest growth in innovation since the invention of wheel OR the discovery of gravity.
Focusing primarily on the technology sector, let us revisit the path that the industry (and its main players) have taken. History teaches a lot of lessons. So, the history of personal computing (technology) can throw some light about the current trends (and possibly future trends).
Lets start with the grand-daddy: IBM.
Several years ago (before I was born), there was a company named International Business Machine (IBM). They made big machines (mainframes) which were very succesful. The company kept on focusing on making bigger and more powerful machines. They closed themselves from the changing market dynamics and lost to the “new trends” (at that time): The PC revolution.
Enter Microsoft. The big 800 pound gorilla of the PC age was hugely succesful (and it still is, and so is IBM) in the 90s. It beat IBM hands on but (because History repeats itself) it made the same mistake as IBM did. It kept its focus on the PC (remember those attempts to make PC as the hub in peoples’ living rooms) and missed the Internet revolution. Yes, I know that they have Hotmail, MSN (and what not), but hey..they are not Google.
Enter Google. This one of the fastest growing company is the 800 pound gorilla of the Internet age. It weathered the DOT com burst, and has almost single handedly captured the most lucrative marketing/advertising business on Internet. But as we speak, history is repeating itself. Google is the master in searching information on the Internet and has pushed the envelope few times(remember indexing all books in the world), but it is missing the key changes that are happening outside of its domain. It is a very smart company (and so were IBM & Microsoft) but it is bound to make its own mistakes and has to give way to the new company that will ride the new trend.
So, what is the new trend that Google is missing and that will lead to some other company getting the crown?
Enter “Real time web”. Internet is changing very fast (exponentially). There is so much information out there that even big-monster companies like Google and Yahoo can not index all information every day/hour. And if you look closely, then this is the most important information (most of the times) for a lot of people. Does it matter what happened 10 years ago in my town? Ofcourse it does. But does it matter more what happened today in my town? Absolutely. Does it matter what “my friend” said to me 10 years ago? No (maybe yes sometimes). But does it matter what “my friend” said to me “today”. Absolutely. (Maybe no sometimes 🙂 But you got what I am trying to communicate. Its the realtime web that is gaining more and more traction (and importance), and Google (and Yahoo as well) are missing it. It is by virtue of their strength (Ability to search & index the whole internet) that they are missing out on the new trends.
Real time web is drawing new frontiers in the technology sector. Sooner or later, new companies (or solutions) are bound to come forward and take the lead. Only future will tell us the dimensions of that leader, but some core features could be: blogging, communities, communication, and openness. Some key players to watch might be: Twitter, Facebook, and Widget companies. It will be interesting to watch their revolution.