Happy 40th to the Internet
So, this week the Internet officially turned 40. That means the Internet is older than any of my MAP colleagues.
Yes, there are instances of communications networks used within the military from earlier than this but Jan 1st, 1983, is widely considered to be the birth of the Internet.
It wasn’t what we know today as the World Wide Web, but the first time separate computers could communicate via what we today call IP, as in IP address.
We have gone from a time when we “logged on” to being “always on” and I can’t think of much in my life, work or otherwise, where the Internet doesn’t play a part.
Our business, MAP, simply would not exist if not for the Internet.
Firstly, we deliver a cloud-based accounting service and secondly, we specialise in the Digital Agency sector, so both elements of our business proposition are pretty reliant on the Internet.
I suppose much like other significant milestones in industrial history, the mere invention or creation didn’t lead to that much change until others developed better ways of using the basic functionality to change how things were done.
I was still at school in 1983, and it would in reality take more than 10 years until innovation changed how the Internet could go from allowing computers to communicate to allowing people to communicate, be that one way through the development of web pages and then two way, via email. I think these were probably the biggest business shifts with the Internet.
When I tell team members now that I managed perfectly well in the first 10 years of my career without email, I don’t think they believe me.
Then we saw the advent of Search and all that has brought us such as E-Commerce and sharing, be that apps, docs or video. (Let’s face it: You wouldn’t be reading this online post now without the internet).
I am sure many business owners appreciate now, more than ever, that those technologies allowed us all to keep trading when the pandemic stopped so many around us who relied more on the physical world, such as Retail, Hospitality, Transport and Travel.
Clearly, many more of us would simply not have got through the pandemic period were it not for the incredible advances in healthcare that digital technology has delivered over those 40 years.
Whilst I complete another year on this planet, and reflect over the Xmas break, I appreciate that I have a lot to be grateful for that was just not possible 40 years ago. But as I look forward, I can’t help but be excited about the future.
40 years on and we still only have half of the world population online. Imagine what will be possible as that moves more and more along that saturation line.
Whilst I started this by saying that the Internet is older than my colleagues at MAP and that the early years of my working life were certainly not as digital as they are today, I look at the team around me, most of whom have been born in this period of “always on”, and what the next 40 years of this technology could bring their generation is mind boggling.
Anyway, enough reflection and future gazing, right now let’s concentrate on the here and now and I wish every one of you a wonderful 2023.