In celebration of fifteen years in business, I have created a list of The 15 Most Important Technologies of the Last 15 Years. However, before I begin my countdown, I thought I would talk about a few important technologies that didn’t quite make the cut. Here are my Honorable Mention Technologies of the Last 15 Years.
Bluetooth: Bluetooth made cell phones more manageable by freeing us from excessive cords. Most cars now come with Bluetooth standard. Together with wireless headsets, in-car phone connections have made handsfree calling a viable option for most, which helps keep us all safe. Wireless keyboards and mice using Bluetooth are also popular. Portable Bluetooth speakers are quickly becoming a very common gadget as well.
USB Flash Drives: The convenience of having multiple gigabytes of storage in a tiny device that can plug and play into any USB port quickly made USB flash drives one of the hottest technologies of the last 15 years. It was pretty much the death knell for floppy disks as well as other removable media such as Zip drives and writable CDs. However, USB flash drives themselves are starting to become obsolete due to cloud data storage.
The Cloud: Once the mobile device revolution took hold, the nascent industry of cloud services took off like a rocket. The demand by users to be able to access their data and applications from anywhere started a stampede of cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and a variety of cloud-based applications that continues to this day.
Blogging and WordPress: One of the early uses of cloud technology (even before the term “cloud” become popular) was blogging. Where the early Internet loosened the grip of traditional media companies and allowed new media companies to emerge (think Drudge Report), the emergence of blogging after the year 2000 gave every individual the ability to be their own publishing company. There were a whole 23 blogs in 1999 but by 2006 there were 50 million. WordPress, which was officially released in 2003, soon became the Internet’s favorite blogging platform and now powers 25% of not just blogs, but all the world’s web sites.
Flat Panel Screens: Before flat panel screens became a mainstream reality, we lived in a world where TVs were big and bulky and computer monitors took up a lot of room on our desks. But soon after the year 2000, the emergence of flat panel screens transformed the way we watched TV and used our computers. Suddenly TVs and monitors became lighter, larger, and more affordable. High definition video became a reality. We began consuming online video media at a voracious rate. Software developers and web designers could take advantage of the increased resolution of computer monitors to create better and more interactive products. Flat panel screens changed the way we interacted with our technology and paved the way for the mobile devices of today. Ironically, the mobile device revolution means that many of us now watch a lot of video on really small screens, but we all still love our big screens when we get the chance!
I’d love to see your comments on the technologies above. Comment below and let me know what you think of my picks!