Saturday, February 13, 2010

Innovations that mattered to our parents

Innovation is going at a crazy pace right now. Sometimes it's difficult just to keep up. Staying "stuck" in the past is almost not even possible anymore because things are changing so fast. There was a great post last month by Jarrett Stevens talking about some quickly outdated innovations. I included 3 here.
  1. The Encyclopedia - Knowledge for the masses! 26 giant books with tiny print. Can you imagine an encyclopedia salesman today trying to make a living? Too outdated too quickly and too complicated to easily update.
  2. The Phonebook -this was a huge step forward from the switchboard operator but it turns out is too limited by being localized. It also has to be updated every year with a new 18 lb. 1384 page waste of paper.
  3. The Home Phone - Again, a great innovation in it's time (we had a party line when I was a kid) - but still too restricting in that calls were limited to "when I am home...not on another call... and willing to stand still long enough for our conversation!"
These things have already been replaced by innovations which themselves will soon be replaced by new innovations. Great stuff Jarrett and thanks for the insight. You can read his full post and his candidate for #4 here.

What are some other innovations that are fading fast?