10 things that impacted technology this decade

We have come to the last couple of days of the first decade of the 21st century. So I thought I would write about the top ten tech moments or products in the last 10 years. This is mainly a personal opinion on products, services that have impacted the tech market in a positive way.

Ipod#1. The iPod: This one is something that actually saved Apple from drowning. It was released in the year 2001 and immediately caught the imagination of almost everyone who wanted to listen to music. Apple was a company at the edge of bankruptcy making losses. The iPod and its craze changed everything. The fall out was fantastic for Apple as ironically a lot of people looked at buying Macs because of its popularity and reputation gained thanks to the iPod. If Apple is at the helm of smart phone technology with their iPhone its because of the legacy started with iPod early in the decade.

Google_adwords#2. Google AdWords: Google search engine was a winning product but how to monetize it? In the year 2000 Google launched Adwords. This revolutionized making money online. The idea of getting people to pay for search listings was not a new one but Google did what no one did and that was it let the market decide what it wanted to pay for every click on a AdWord. An exstension of AdWords was AdSense which allowed the Blogging industry to become money earners. Even Devils Workshop is today running because AdSense and hence it is impossible to not include it as a positive impact for this decade in the tech world. It is estimated Google makes over $5 billion from AdSense revenues.

Wordpress#3. WordPress: This is what a huge majority of bloggers in the world use for designing their blogs. You might be suprised but a lot of websites which are not necessarily blogs are also designed with WordPress. An open source blog publishing application, WordPress started gaining momentum from development and design ideas coming from ground up. It was first released in 2003 and since then it has set the internet on fire with over 200 million websites using WordPress.

Wikipedia#4. Wikipedia: I did grow up in the pre-wikipedia age where if you had to look up information on the Bengal Tiger or India’s population you had to refer to either the Worldbook encyclopedia or Britanica Encyclopedia. Now you just search for at Wikipedia. With over 14 million articles in various languages it has become a must for anyone searching for information on almost anything. The online encyclopedia is written by people like you and me on subjects that we know about.

Social_networking#5. Social Networking: I doubt anyone reading this is not listed on some social networking website or the other. It all started with connecting with old school friends and led to being a phenomenon where not we use social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to do a host of things which includes searching for jobs, clients, technology and lately gaming. There is no denying that the last 10 years the internet has shifted focus to social networks a lot more than ever before.

YouTube#6. You Tube: Ten years ago if we had to catch a music video or look up a news clip you had to wait for it to reappear on the television tube. Today we look them up on You Tube. It was created in 2005 and became hugely popular and soon after Google bought it. You Tube is massive for the internet and it has not been completely monetized. It has been used for commercial campaigns to political messages and it has led to the under 30 population being called the YouTube generation.

unlimited_storage_email#7. Unlimited Email storage: Back in 2000 we had Hotmail give us 2 MB inbox storage space. Most of us were overjoyed when Indiatimes had offered 10 MB space with its email service. Gmail entered the market with the promise that you do not have to manage your storage space. This had a domino effect and any serious player in the Email service will not dream of offering you anything but unlimited storage. Instead of 10 MB total storage space within years we have moved to 10 MB limit for attachments.

blackberry#8. Blackberry: Research in Motion (RIM) released BlackBerry smartphone and we had the birth of the smart phone. It basically replaced the need for a computer to check emails and surf the net. You can do that with your phone. With the ever increasing closing of the gap between a netbook and a smart phone we should soon see smartphones making netbooks obsolete. All this will be probably with a huge thanks to the rise of the BlackBerry in this decade.

Google_maps#9.Google Maps: Finding a place or getting driving directions has become revolutionized with Google Maps. It was not that there were no previous endevours in mapping the world but Google Maps allowed you to list your business on their maps which transformed Google Maps into a ever evolving interface which is not extensively used. With Google Earth it gets us satellite pictures on our computers which was surely not something people thought possible 10 years ago.

open_source#10. Rise of Open Source: The rise of Open Source technology has really captured the imagination and come out of the dark alleys where products and applications were used only by developers and people in the know. The dominance of Microsoft has still to be shaken in the OS market but when it comes to applications open source technologies are surely taking over. It also has now got people understanding the concept that Open Source does not mean free software but freedom from control of software development.

I guess a common thread between almost all the products and services being successful has been making technology more widespread and users getting to interact with other users. Most successful companies instead of becoming technology developers are making the transition to becoming technology market places for developers and users to interface. Hope you agree with my list and if I have missed out on anything do let me know through your comments.

I conclude the post by wishing you all a happy and safe New Year from all of us at rtBlogs.


Rishabh December 31, 2009

Great list indeed. For me, twitter was the best thing that happened last year

Vaibhav | Programming Kid December 31, 2009

A nice compilation. Those things really made a difference. Very well made list.

Rajesh Kanuri January 1, 2010

you have manged everything and compiled a great list.. But i think Apple has made much more buzz with its Iphone when compared to the ipods… and you also you need to mention about micro blogging paltform twitter which is indeed a revolution in blogging ..

Aditya Kane January 1, 2010

@Rajesh: Thanks for liking the list, but I wanted to concentrate on the whole decade rather than the last couple of years, Twitter belongs under social networking.
Agreed Apple made a bigger buzz with iPhone, but iPod actually turned things around for Apple in a huge way as it was almost struggling to survive. I even remember reading back in 1999 that many wondered if Apple will survive till 2010.

vivek jain January 2, 2010

Rise of open source. Kudos Aditya..That was the major thing that every such list missed.
The last paragraph is an unique observation. truly remarkable.
Way to go.:D

Aditya Kane January 2, 2010

Thanks Vivek, actually while starting down the list, Open Source was the first thing that came to my mind.