What year was this picture taken in?
CNN had a quiz a few days ago asking when was email invented. It was multiple choice, and the earliest date was 1981, which turns out to be their answer. They put up a picture of Eric Allman, saying he was the inventor. Oy, such is the state of journalism today. I think 1981 was the year CNN was invented. Email goes back to, at least, the early 70s. I used email at the University of Wisconsin in 1977 and it was’t new then.
Wikipedia: “E-mail started in 1965 as a way for multiple users of a time-sharing mainframe computer to communicate.”
Many years ago, when the Internet was still the domain of geeks, researchers and college students, the smart folks often said that the opportunities for new software companies were over, it simply required too much scale to compete in an industry dominated by Lotus, Microsoft and Ashton-Tate. Now it’s clear how ridiculous that was, even though it was correct. The next layer comes on not by building on the old layer (a trick, the guy you’re building on will eat your lunch), or re-doing what they did (what the naysayers correctly say you can’t do), but by starting from a different place and building something new, and so different that the old guys don’t understand it and don’t feel threatened by it.
At first, the Internet, the market dominated by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Amazon (and others) was about the web, a publishing environment, then it became two-way, and search developed as a core but adjunct feature, much as the OS of a personal computer is part of the package, but the spreadsheet, word processor and other productivity apps are really what it was about. There will be new technology enterprises that make the search engine as humdrum as the desktop OS is today. Bet on it and win. Think that all innovation must come in the form of applications of search and you’ll be left in the dust.