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 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. In addition, Bill Gates allowed himself some predictions about how the technological world might look 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 some quotes from Gates’ book that have proven 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 in 2004, initially to students. 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 constant contact with each other and do their business electronically from anywhere. They’ll be able to follow the news, see flights they’ve booked, get information from the financial markets and do everything else on these devices,” reads another prediction by Bill Gates.
The smartphone replaced the traditional cell phone in the late 2000s. The major difference, apart from the high-resolution touch screens, was the proprietary 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 will be developed that allow users to overview prices from many sites, making it effortless to find the cheapest product for all industries,” was a prediction made by Bill Gates years ago. In the same year of his prediction, the company Check24 put one of the first comparison portals online 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 supplier personally. In addition to price comparison, many portals offer users the opportunity to create profiles for better searches, to obtain other buyers’ opinions, and to include additional facts such as delivery time and sustainability in the purchase decision.
4. personalized advertising
“Devices will have intelligent advertising. They will know your buying preferences and serve n that are tailored to your preferences,” according to a prediction by Bill Gates. While companies in the late ’90s 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 the customer 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 indicating their interests, needs, and specific 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. They can also be contacted by companies. With the exception of China and Russia, the service can be used anywhere in the world.
6. smart home
“Constant video surveillance of your home will become commonplace and will inform you if someone visits you while you are away,” Bill Gates, according to a prediction made as early as 1999, no longer considered distant science fiction. 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 his or her home device when shopping around town. One example is preparing a meal by compiling a shopping list and preparing all kitchen appliances to cook. With these statements, Gates is describing here, without knowing it, the phenomenon of the smart home.
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.