It’s 3am and I’m wide awake. I keep having this terrible nightmare. I’m at the county science fair and I’ve got this beautiful volcano that I built from the red clay I dug out of my backyard. I’ve got the vinegar/baking soda and I’m ready to rock. And then I glance over to the kid next to me and he’s built an autonomous car. Oh Sh&%! Let’s face it, adapting to rapid change is stressful.
Even the best have found themselves behind the curve on emerging trends. Twenty-two years ago this week… On May 26th, 1995, Bill Gates is famously known to have drafted a memo entitled “The Internet Tidal Wave” in which he described the internet as “the most important single development to come along since the IBM PC was introduced in 1981.” But first movers in the internet wave were already at full steam and Microsoft ended up late to the party. The moral of the story is that it can happen to any company, so vigilance is the key.
These statistics have been floating around for a while, but I think they are useful to put some perspective around this topic. It took the wireline phone 75 years to get to 50m subscribers. Angry Birds Space app did it in 35 days. A gigabyte’s worth of storage on a hard drive in 1993 cost more than $9,000, but it cost a mere $0.04 in 2013. Google won the race to zero in May, 2016 when it announced that its new photo sharing app would be completely free for unlimited storage.