The first time I saw a mobile phone tethered to a laptop to use the internet would have been in 1995. I had just left High School and was studying Computer and Electronic Engineering.
I was sitting with some friends on a lunch break watching this guy set up a laptop and then connect it to his mobile phone (via serial cable? It was Pre-USB days). Being IT nerds we knew this was possible but was the first time we had ever seen it done. We were all pissing ourselves laughing because it would have been hideously expensive at the time as he was working for over an hour and must have been costing his employer a packet. It was probably Telstra – but it wasn’t something a normal person did or paid for at the time.
Today everyone does this at pretty much zero cost. We don’t even think twice about it. It is amazing that the internet has become part of our lives in less than 20 years of most people even knowing about it.
I like to sit with my friends today and think about what will change in our lives over the next 20 years. Something that is unusual, weird or funny to us today. I like to be the first to say ‘sex robots!’. Electric cars, space travel, crypto currencies, Virtual Reality, quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence, drones, 3D printing and robotics. But really who knows?
We knew enough then to understand this would eventually become commonplace but not how to capitalize on that knowledge. No one having lunch with me that day started a company and is a billionaire. But we all have great careers in technology and a comfortable living working with things we enjoy. Maybe that is enough?
Tell me what you think in the comments – it is a fun thought exercise. But more importantly what are you doing to capitalize on the trend?
Welcome to Westworld.