There have been a number of great inventions throughout the course of humankind that has forever changed and shaped progression. For example, soap and the ability to prevent diseases through cleanliness ushered in a new era of medicine and doctoring and both the bicycle and the car transformed the way in which we transported goods. In a similar way, the airplane eliminated the need for switchback roads that wound through mountains and instead allowed us to fly as the crow does. And now? We have the internet.
The internet has connected us in such an intricate and indelible way that dozens, if not hundreds, of different industries have had their traditional business models disrupted and revolutionized by its all-encompassing potential. Below, we’ll look at some of the more prominent industries which have been inexorably changed by modern technology.
It used to be that getting a ride from the airport meant standing in the lashing rain with your luggage in tow, hand stuck out in the desperate hope that a passing cab was both free and would notice you. That all changed with the introduction of Uber in March 2009. A pioneer in what is now known as the sharing economy, Uber closed the gap between expensive taxis and consumer demand with their app which allows users to hail a cab, know exactly what price their ride will cost and even get the lowdown on their driver.
It also opened up employment to freelancers worldwide, allowing anyone with a driver’s license and a car to effectively become an employee. With drivers in over 633 cities worldwide, it’s hard to not use the term “Uber” when referring to the act of getting a cab.
The Airline Industry
Commercial flight began in 1914 – a 21-mile journey with just one paying passenger – but it rapidly grew over the years, connecting continents and cities around the world. Flights way back when were usually boring affairs – it was a case of boarding a plane, gazing out the window and waiting patiently for landing. Now there is a whole host of in-flight entertainment to keep you preoccupied – indeed, a flyer feels disgruntled if the selection of films, series and games aren’t up to scratch.
Likewise, buying a plane ticket meant either going directly to a travel agent, airport or exchanging credit card details over the phone. Now there are websites and apps with which you can book flights. In fact, this has advanced to the point where private jet companies such as Jetapp allow anyone to book short luxurious flights directly from their phone.
Print and Media
No one could have predicted the overhaul that the news and magazine industry would have to make when the internet came to fruition. Whereas printing presses used to run day and night to meet demand, and publications of all kinds were read on daily commutes to and from work and in dentist waiting rooms, there has been a steady decline in the way in which media is consumed. It used to be that you needed repute to start a publication. Now, however, anyone with a blog or a website ending in .com can amplify their voice and draw in readers.
<p<It’s changed the way in which news and information is consumed. Articles are shorter, headlines more snappy and relevance seems to have taken a back seat to abundance. The most evident example of this being the fake news epidemic which has and still is gripping media outlets worldwide.
Remember physical forms of entertainment media such as CDs, DVDs and books? Me neither. What once used to constitute entire collections is now stored, packed and tightly wrapped into every smartphone. The humble book is being changed by the introduction of e-readers such as the Kindle; the mp3 forever changed the way in which music was listened to and streaming services such as Spotify and iTunes revolutionized the way it’s distributed. Films are no longer rented from a video store or even from cable TV; subscriptions from Netflix, Amazon Prime and Google Play mean that watching the latest film or series is the cost of two beers and an internet connection.