If we were sent back with a time machine, even 20 years, and reported to people what we have right now and describe what we were going to get in this device in our pocket—[…] and then we would tell them that most of this content was free. You would simply be declared insane. They would say there is no economic model to make this. What is the economics of this? It doesn’t make any sense, and it seems far-fetched and nearly impossible.
But the next twenty years are going to make this last twenty years just pale. We’re just at the beginning of the beginning of all these kind of changes. There’s a sense that all the big things have happened, but relatively speaking, nothing big has happened yet.
This reminds me a bit of Vernor Vinge and his “Across Realtime” compendium – documenting the imagined future impact of increasingly compounding technological change. And thanks to Chris, I found the whole interview with Kevin Kelly, which is fascinating. One of the more amazing things about the last 20 years is not just the pace of technological advancement, but our economy’s ability to absorb and distribute those advances around the world.