The three year technology lag

Back in 1999 we used to call software that ran off the internet “browser-based” software and all other, which was most of, software was packaged and sitting on the shelf of CompUSA.  The packaged software industry is essential gone. Today everything is browser based; Google, Yahoo, eBay, Netflix, etc. Applications are everywhere on the web. Back in 1999 this was predicted to happen by 2002. Which is why the internet bubble burst. The promise of everything being on the internet drove stock prices through the roof, and then everyone realized it wasn’t going to happen soon enough to give a quick return on investment.

Here we are in 2008 and it is just getting mainstream. Quite a lag.

But we shouldn’t be surprised.

In the 1990’s I was with a company which sold software to schools. We built our software for the lag. For instance, in 1999 the software we wrote for schools had to be based on 1996 computers and operating systems, because the upgrade cycle was always three years behind. Using that as a benchmark for today, most of the population is in an early 2005 mode. They don’t use blogs, but are about to. They don’t post to YouTube. They don’t have a sense of podcasts. It is still the day of the early adopters and the earlier adopters have had it going or about 2-3 years as far as the social media Web 2.0 thing.

The tortoise and the hare story comes to mind. Which character didn’t get intimitaded by the lag?

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