The biggest technology stories of the decade

As the first decade of the 21st century draws to an end, i find myself  reflecting on the last decade of technology and its impact on every fabric of our daily lives. In no particular order of preference or importance, I believe that the following ground breaking technologies of the last ten years defined and set the stage for the future. The coming  of age of the  smartphone with its ubiquitous apps and massive ability to customize and in most cases deliver.  Mobile computing did more than the personal computer was ever able to accomplished in terms of customization, and has open the gate to a new frontier.

It hard to overlook the visionary leadership of Steve Job of Apple for establishing his well received iPhone and its 100,00 apps and counting in the iTunes store, despite his increasingly closed platform in a world where open source and user-generated platform seem to be defining the space, he gets kudos for being a visionary for delivering products that the consumers have tremendous affinity for despite his sometimes deplorable tactics

In the next five years, feature phones will arguably be “a thing” of the past as it is estimated that 300 millions  smart phones are expected to be in circulation, in the United States alone.

Another development  that is worth noting is the all too conspicuous fragmentation of the media, forcing iconic corporations with previously full-fledged blue chip status to adapt to a new disruptive environment of information management and distribution, rapidly shrinking product life cycles and a customer centric environment that has  challenge  some of the most “sacred cow” in the  business tradition since the invention of the railroad and the steam engine. I was having a conversation with a friend about the future of broadcast television the other day. I noted that very soon, network television will have to find a sustainable business model or else it wiil be history…these companies traditionally make revenue from the “century old” advertising model using outbound marketing which is not viable any longer.  Inbound marketing is the new “purple cow’. Oprah is smart for seeing the writing on the wall and  jumping off a sinking ship…

Another disruptive innovation that came of age in the last 10 years is the revolution of the social media,  the blogosphere, the full throttle assault of the meritocracy which is the internet. The gatekeepers are falling by the way as an interactive revolution replace the old top-down hierarchy that, in my opinion, stunts growth and discourage leadership. Facebook’s last valuation was more than 11 billion dollars despite that fact the it has not been able to monetize its reputation currency. So is Twitter. But so what…? Facebook has 350 million unique users including you and me…people are the new currency.

The  emergence of “GOOGLE” in the last ten years was a  watershed moment. We now relate to Google today like our parents did with Coke in the mid twentieth century. This company, I believe has helped  shape the last ten years and will define the future in ways that we can only imagine….nuff said.

Haji Sillah Seesay

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