Facebook, price comparison portals, intelligent advertising – all technologies that are firmly part of our everyday lives these days. In 1999, most people would have thought it was all science fiction, but Microsoft founder Bill Gates already saw it coming.
In 1999, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, published his book “Business @ the Speed of Thought”, in which he gave readers various tips on how to run a business and develop products further. In addition, Bill Gates made some predictions about what the technological world might look like in the future.
As it turns out 20 years later, Gates was amazingly right about almost everything. In his blog, which has since been taken offline, business student Markus Kirjonen presented a number of quotes from Gates’ book that proved to be equally or partially true. atechbook has summarized the most fascinating six for you.
1. social media
One of Bill Gates’ predictions in 1999 was, “Private websites will take root that will allow your friends and families to chat and plan events with each other.” Four years later, the three major projects Myspace, LinkedIn and WordPress were launched.
After these were able to generate hundreds of thousands of users in a very short time, Facebook opened its doors initially to students in 2004. In the years that followed, the service developed into the largest social media platform of all time, with billions of users. Many others followed, such as YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat.
“People will carry around small devices that will allow them to stay in touch with each other all the time and do their business electronically from anywhere. They will be able to follow the news, see flights they have booked, get information from the financial markets, and do everything else on these devices,” reads another prediction by Bill Gates.
The smartphone replaced the classic cell phone at the end of the 2000s. The major difference, apart from the high-resolution touch screens, was the dedicated operating system that allowed users to install a wide range of applications. Today, there is an app for almost every need.
3. price comparison portals
“Automated price comparison services are being developed that allow users to view prices from many sites, making it effortless to find the cheapest product for all industries,” was one of Bill Gates’ predictions years ago. In the same year as his prediction, the company Check24 launched one of the first comparison portals in Germany, at that time for car insurance.
Today, there are numerous portals in this country. Most of them are considered “white labels,” which means that the operator receives the price data from the provider personally. In addition to price comparison, many portals offer users to create profiles for better searches, get other buyer opinions, and include additional facts such as delivery time and sustainability in the purchase decision.
4. personalized advertising
“The devices will have intelligent advertising. They will know your buying preferences and switch n that are tailored to your preferences,” according to a Bill Gates prediction. While companies in the late 1990s could only place their ads on newspaper websites, in 1997 GoTo.com became the first operator to begin selling targeted nspace on various websites.
With the rise in computer power and the ability to survey and direct traffic, companies have been able to develop many different targeting methods to get specific ads to the right customer. This involves creating accurate profiles about customers via their search habits and social media activity for optimal targeting.
5. online job placement
In 1999, Gates wrote, “Similarly, job seekers may be able to find jobs online by specifying their interests, needs and special skills.” In 2003, the company LinkedIn was founded. Today, it is one of the largest job networks in the world, with 500 million users.
Users upload their individual resumes and profiles to find suitable jobs through it. They can also be contacted by companies. Except for China and Russia, the service can be used anywhere in the world.
6 Smart Home
“Constant video surveillance of your home will become commonplace, informing you when someone visits you in your absence,” Bill Gates thought was no longer a distant science fiction as early as 1999, according to a prediction. In addition, he said that “personal assistants will be developed that connect and synchronize all your devices, whether they’re at home or at work, so that data can be shared among them.”
Gates said it’s also conceivable that a user could include their home appliance when shopping around town. One example is preparing a meal by compiling a shopping list and preparing all kitchen appliances for cooking. With these statements, Gates is describing the smart home phenomenon here without knowing it.
Permanent video surveillance, for example, is offered by the company Dropcam. Google Now and Nest provide the system that allows the devices to network and communicate with each other.