I’ve been re-reading Kevin Kelly’s article in the August Wired, We Are the Web. He powerfully puts the growth of the web in perspective.
The scope of the Web today is hard to fathom. The total number of Web pages, including those that are dynamically created upon request and document files available through links, exceeds 600 billion. That’s 100 pages per person alive.
How could we create so much, so fast, so well? In fewer than 4,000 days, we have encoded half a trillion versions of our collective story and put them in front of 1 billion people, or one-sixth of the world’s population. That remarkable achievement was not in anyone’s 10-year plan.
Kevin sites the ridiculous amount of content available to us at the click of our mouse – maps that convert to satellite images that convert to 3D, world history, free computer to computer phone calls around the world, weather anywhere on the planet, house listings across the street and two continents over, manuals, photos – the list is endless. And it’s all searchable. And it happened in ten years.
Google has only been around since the end of the 90’s. It has a Market Cap of over 87 Billion dollars – surpassing Time Warner & almost twice the Market Cap of Ford & GM combined! Skype released it’s first public beta two years ago. eBay bought it for 2.6 billion dollars two years later! And that was probably the first time that some people had heard of it.
Scientist, Inventor and Artificial Intelligence expert, Ray Kurzweil, suggests that the next twenty years of technological progress will be the equivalent to all the progress of the 20th century. Stop and think about that – we entered the 20th century on horseback and left it with satellites mapping Jupiter.
We will experience that same level of change by 2020. And we’re not shocked. Amazing.