The first important technology products created by humans were hand tools made from stone, wood, and bone. That was around 10 million years ago then from hand tools to fire, the next truly disruptive technology, took about eight million years. The time span from fire to cooking was less than one million years and the invention of clothing followed around 300,000 years later. So, finally, after roughly nine and a half million years, we got pockets to carry our tools around with us. Yay, progress.
These were all disruptive technologies; they radically changed how humans lived and ever since, the appearance of new, disruptive technologies has accelerated. For example, mobile cellular devices have managed to outnumber the entire human population of the earth in just over 30 years and the iPhone, launched just over 10 years ago, is now used by an estimated three quarters of a billion people today.
The trouble with disruptive technologies is that they usually have unintended side effects and today we're seeing major social and business shifts caused by the consequences of these technological advances. The problem is we're not handling these changes all that well.
In his session, Mark discussed:
About Mark Gibbs
Mark Gibbs has been a journalist and consultant specializing in emerging technologies for over 30 years. For 24 years, Gibbs has been a contributing editor and columnist for IDG's Network World as well as writing for InfoWorld, Forbes, and Computer World. Gibbs also co-founded Novell UK and created and co-founded NetRatings.