Welcome to the end of the week and another edition of Happy Hour! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy your end of the week roundup of all things interesting in the land of money.
Happy Birthday Internet
I doubt anyone saw how big an impact the internet would have after 25 years. Maybe someone did and I wasn’t listening, because I was too busy playing with a new piece of computer hardware called a modem that you could hook up to your phone line. You could connect with a computer several states away in as long as it took to dial a phone.
Download speeds were slow. It was 9.6k or 14.4k at the time, like a slug slow. The phone screeched at you when you picked it up. And you got yelled at when someone needed to make a call.
In 1991 there was 1 website. There were 10 in 1992. We cracked 100 in ’93. Soon there were websites and web portals popping up everywhere. Prodigy, CompuServe, Excite, and Alta Vista, do these ring a bell?
What about Yahoo! or AOL? Yahoo! was a directory back then, an online yellow pages of sorts. Remember the yellow pages? AOL mailed floppy disks to get you to sign up. Remember floppy disks?
Netscape went public in ’95. Then the boom took off. Nothing was out of the realm of possibilities. There was one problem. Most everyone ignored the limitations and thought anything could make money.
We needed a few things first – more speed, better browsers, security, and a computer in every home. Who knew you needed customers with access before you could make money. Eventually it happened. Everyone got email. File sharing went big. We got comfortable making online payments. And a few companies squeaked through the bust.
It’s since evolved into online gaming, streaming video, and everything wi-fi. There’s a computer in every hand. The internet is mobile, unhindered. Billions of sites, thousands of apps, and yet 61% of the world isn’t connected yet. Just imagine the possibilities.
I can’t wait to see what the next 25 years will bring.