The world of yesterday, today and tomorrow

Eighty-two years ago this month, The New York Times published an article commenting upon the 20-year “Grand Canyon of History” separating the leaders of 1914 from the then-contemporary leaders of 1934. The general question was how leaders of one era differ from those of another. That interesting exercise gave rise in my mind to a two-part variation: How did the leaders of 20 years ago differ from those of today, and how will the leaders of two decades from now be different from those who lead today? 

How different was 1996?

Entering the Wayback Machine (also known as the WABAC Machine. If you’re under 40, you may need a Wayback Machine of your own to understand the reference, from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. A serviceable substitute is YouTube.), we see that in 1996 we are just entering the internet era. The global population is around 5.7 billion people. Only 45 million of them are using the internet, with roughly “30 million of those in North America (United States and Canada), 9 million in Europe, and 6 million in Asia/Pacific (Australia, Japan, etc.). 43.2 million (44%) of US households own a personal computer, and 14 million of them are online.”

It’s very different age technologicallyEarly in the year, Motorola introduces the Motorola StarTAC Wearable Cellular Telephone, the world’s smallest and lightest mobile phone to date. Chess computer Deep Blue defeats world chess champion Garry Kasparov for the first time. Pokémon Red and Blue are released in Japan by Nintendo. At the end of the year, Steve Jobs’ company NeXT is purchased by Apple Computer. 

Most people in 1996 don’t realize it, but the trends that will dominate two decades hence (such as mobile, machine learning/A.I., gamification and consumerization) are just kicking off. 

Source Article from http://www.computerworld.com/article/3110630/it-management/the-world-of-yesterday-today-and-tomorrow.html