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Marconi to Twitter

August 2, 2012

My Grandmother lived to age 96. She was born in 1908 and grew up in a little town on the Texas Mexico border. Before she died she wrote an autobiography. In it she described Pancho Villa terrorizing south Texas, an abbreviated trip down the Rhine in early September 1939 with her girlfriends. The story she shares which always stuck in my mind is how she described the first radio she encountered. It was magical to her! How could a human voice be coming from a box!

Today’s chart is a tidbit we recently discovered in a McKinsey report titled “The social economy”. It shows the pace of technological progress increasing from my Grandmother’s time to my Grandchild’s. It is nothing short of incredible.

It took the radio 38 years to reach 50 million users worldwide. The next revolution came around a little quicker: 13 years passed until 50 million people enjoyed moving images in their own homes.

With the arrival of the internet the pace of technological adoption really picked up: while it still took internet service providers three years to reach 50 million subscribers, the world wide web dramatically enlarged the potential audience for everyone with an innovative product or service.

Facebook, now on track to reach 1 billion users, needed just one year to reach 50 million users and Twitter was even quicker to reach that milestone.



From → business, Strategy

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