A glimpse of 10 years, the world changes. Steve Jobs was Apple CEO when the sun rose on January 1, 2010. The most popular Android phone at the time was Motorola Droid, Facebook was a small germ, stumbling and stumbling into a profitable path, and Uber was “unable to find this” in the App Store, and Spotify was also A small music app in Sweden.
Note: This article is compiled and collated according to The Verge
Looking ahead in 2019, 10 years later, these stories are presented in a node-like manner. Social networking consolidation has taken root around the world; piracy and content companies are playing cat-and-mouse games, monthly subscriptions become an emerging pay model; founder sprees are fading, and platforms are locked in an endless war of regulation and regulation.
We are always talking about the development of the world of science and technology, but little attention is paid to what kind of brick-by-brick to build it. As the 1X year approaches, you may need some “node moments” to awaken sleeping memories.
iPhone 4 release
The rise of smartphones began with the original iPhone in 2007, but its real rise began with the iPhone 4 in 2010. The iPhone 4 has an unprecedented Apple design, introducing high-resolution displays and selfie cameras, and showing us a back-up camera that’s worth using. What’s more: A few months after its launch, it became the first iPhone to be launched by all major U.S. carriers.
With the iPhone 4 coming out, Android phones are just starting to roll out, but it will take years to match Apple’s quality and attention to detail. The iPhone 4 shows the world what a flagship phone should look like. Even if today’s phones are bigger and faster, they’re still built on the best phones of 2010.
The Death of Google Wave
If it weren’t for Google Wave’s ambition, it wouldn’t have been a good deal. Unfortunately, Google Wave comes at a time when Google is ambitious but lacks follow-up. Wave, named after the sci-fi drama Firefly, is an online collaborative editing tool designed for text and media, so it acts as a communication technology between instant messaging and public forum threads. This is a good concept, using the decentralization of the network as the basis for a new type of online conversation.
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t know what Wave should do or who it serves. The product was released in 2009, but Google suspended the development of a stand-alone version just two months after its launch. By January 2012, all Wave content was still read-only and was permanently deleted four months later. The Apache Software Foundation took over Wave and ran its open-source version until 2018, but Wave eventually became an industry joke. The search giant’s tendency to announce its half-baked products and kill them almost immediately is the preferred reference case.
Spotify’s U.S. debut
When Spotify was released in the US in 2011, it changed the way we listened to music forever. Spotify isn’t the first music streaming platform in the U.S., but it bundles the benefits of services such as Pandora, Last.fm and SoundCloud into a package with personalized algorithms, social listening and subscription models, and free songs in tens of millions of ad modes. For music listeners, this model was, and still is, a winning model, so rivals such as Google, Apple and Tidal quickly followed suit.
For musicians, this new streaming environment makes them feel mixed: listeners can hear more music than ever before, but it seems increasingly elusive whether they can make money from these streams — especially for those who listen to music for free. But despite the worrying economic situation of the musicians, it is already clear that it is no longer possible to go back to the past.
Netflix becomes Qwikster
Before the streaming revolution, Netflix was best known for renting DVDs by mail, something that is hard to imagine now. It is already clear that online streaming will be the future direction by 2011, but it is also clear that the mail delivery business will continue to be bigger than the streaming service in the coming years. At times like these, visionary leaders are needed to combine the two.
Unfortunately, Reed Hastings, Netflix’s chief executive, screwed it up. He splits the subscription into two parts: A DVD mail subscription and a streaming subscription, which means Netflix customers now have to pay twice to get the streaming plus DVD subscription they’ve been getting for years. To make matters worse, he renamed his DVD subscription business Qwikster, which sounds more like a rural convenience store than the next generation of entertainment companies.
Overall, the failure cost the company 800,000 users, and Hastings spent the second year trying to recover. In the years that followed, Netflix recovered and Hastings became one of the leading architects of the shift to streaming video, but Qwikster’s failure was a reminder of how hard it was to navigate the streaming transition.
Steve Jobs is dead
No one is more important in the image of the tech world than Steve Jobs, whose death hit the industry like a disaster. Inside Apple, the loss seems unthinkable. Jobs represents all of Apple’s strengths and weaknesses: perfectionism, self-satisfaction, and a willingness to disrupt the industry when better paths arise. It’s unclear to what extent these qualities will surpass Jobs himself, and how Apple would have operated without him.
Looking back, we know that Apple has always been Apple. The iPad isn’t the last big product, and the iPhone 4 isn’t the last good iPhone. Apple has only become more ambitious, expanding its business to televisions, personal assistants and health monitoring. Tim Cook, the incoming CEO, may seem successful by any measure, but his tenure will always be seen as a post-Jobs era, and Mr Jobs’s spirit still hangs over the company like an unfulfilled promise.
Oculus Rift login kickstarter
Virtual reality is dead… until it came back to life. In 2012, Oculus Rift promised to take consumers beyond the virtual reality technology of the 1990s, which cleverly transformed mobile hardware into inexpensive headsets, giving users an extraordinary audio-visual effect. Oculus Rift is backed by Doomsday co-creator John Carmack and nearly 10,000 Kickstarter supporters who have pledged a total of $2.4 million for the first development kit. The event laid the groundwork for Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition and massive wave of virtual reality hype, as well as Palmer Luckey’s strange and ongoing saga. Virtual reality has yet to be a mainstream success, but the boom in eye-catching virtual reality has proved to be one of the strangest and most interesting trends of the past decade.
Tinder comes to life, opening the era of left-right sliding
Before Tinder, people usually met people in bars, parties, or dorms. After Tinder, people can lie in comfortable beds on winter nights, sliding left and right to socialize to thousands of people. Tinder was launched in 2012 and is growing rapidly. At the same time, it makes a mess of online dating and convinces some people that we’re all going to be corrupt and terrible people.
Tinder isn’t the first online dating app, but it sets a new standard for what we want from these apps. Complex questionnaires, as well as complex personal information systems, were gone, and instead, a series of face photos and a single two-in-one option: swipe left or right. Whether it’s good or bad, the way people meet and date will never be the same.
Snowden Exposure Prism Project
Before the Prism project came to light, the idea that the government could have secret access to technology companies was considered nonsense only on Posts on Reddit. But Edward Snowden changed all that. The National Security Agency is running a scheme code-named PRISM to steal data from the world’s largest technology company, according to classified documents he has exposed. The documents show that the government has direct access to the databases of companies that google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and even AOL, which reach almost everyone on the Internet. The entire Internet industry has rushed to show that they know nothing about the program, and the leaked documents since then appear to show that the NSA aggressively hacked into the internal networks of the companies to obtain data, leading to a permanent loss of government credibility. After the Prism project came to light, it was hard to believe that the so-called private data stored in the cloud was really private.
Gamergate (Playergate) Event
At this moment, the heated debate at the 4chan Forum spread to other parts of the Internet, and the resulting harassment became hard to ignore. The feud, which began between the game’s critics and ardent supporters, has led to growing discontent like a rolling snowball. Specific targets are identified as human flesh, bombarded with threatening and abusive messages. At the same time, it is almost impossible for outsiders to figure out what’s going on. For months, the word was said on Twitter, drawing dozens of fanatics who insisted it was all about the ethics of journalism. Specific goals and groups have faded, but technology and unbridled anti-feminist sentiment seem to have become an inescapable part of the Internet.
Amazon Smart Speaker Echo Launched
When the Echo came out in January 2015, we called it “one of the most compelling cases of voice control we’ve ever seen.” In the years that followed, voice control became ubiquitous — our phones, cars, televisions — and the Echo was a leader in this regard, thanks in part to its cheap brother, the Echo Dot. Its voice-wake word “Alexa” has become the key word for hundreds of jokes. It evolved from initial curiosity into a hardware-independent platform, with more than 100 million Alexa devices sold (at least in Amazon’s sales figures).
Google makes a blind car a reality
On a sunny Day in October 2015, Steve Mahan became one of the first people to drive a driverless car on a public road. There are several reasons why the event is notable, mainly because Mahan is blind and his prototype is from Google’s self-driving car division (now known as Waymo), which has no steering wheel or pedals. The test drive campaign helped launch a multibillion-dollar commercialization of self-driving cars. Since then, the race has suffered setbacks both in management and technology, but Mahan’s first test drive did make self-driving look very much like the mode of transportation of the future.
SpaceX Reclaims Rockets
In all space flight history, almost every vertical take-off rocket ends up in junk as soon as it enters orbit. After the satellites were deployed, the rockets did not have an easy way to recover, and in the end most of them fell back to Earth and were never found again.
With SpaceX, Elon Musk wants to change that, allowing each rocket to reignite the engine on its way back and gently land on a concrete landing pad or unmanned boat. It sounds complicated, and it’s harder to make it really happen. In the first few attempts, the rocket exploded in an impact — what Musk called an “unplanned rapid disintegration.” It was not clear how long the crash would last, but SpaceX finally made its first successful landing on December 21, 2015 — a Falcon 9 rocket landing gently on a concrete site in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The then-new-looking rocket recovery landing quickly became a common occurrence, and since then, SpaceX has recovered a total of 46 rocket boosters, rarely crashing.
Facebook Cambridge data analytics scandal
When Facebook decided to share user data with third-party apps, it envisioned a world where people were more connected and social. It probably didn’t expect this to make people around the world suddenly start to care about data privacy. But that’s exactly what happened when the Guardian reported that Cambridge Data Analytics, a shadowy consulting firm, collected data from millions of unsuspecting Facebook users. Using a vulnerability in the Facebook API, the company conducted a questionnaire test for Facebook users and their friends to help the Trump campaign reach potential voters more effectively. Facebook’s reputation has not weathered the shock. Dozens of privacy scandals have ensued, and Facebook appears unable to secure its data privacy. That’s something Facebook and the industry as a whole needs to start thinking about, and Facebook will start refactoring its API and rethinking how to dispose of user data. The industry is still in transition, but the scandal has been one of the most intense political pressures the industry has faced.
Musk considers privatizing Tesla, but ultimately doesn’t
“I’m considering privatizing Tesla at $420 a share,” Elon Musk tweeted on August 7, 2018. The remark triggered one of the most turbulent periods in Tesla’s history, culminating in Musk losing his job as Tesla’s chairman and paying a $20 million fine to the government. Mr Musk has proved to have received no funding, despite his meetings with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund on supporting privatization efforts. And, as the promise of large-scale share buybacks has sent share prices soaring, this casual boasting is beginning to look very much like securities fraud. The U.S. Department of Justice is still investigating the attempt, but several shareholders have sued Musk for market manipulation. Musk’s remark is likely to be one of the most expensive tweets in history.
This is just one of the infamous examples of the insanity of technological leadership, but it is far from an isolated incident. Musk has just escaped a defamation lawsuit after he was busy selling and sending cars into space. The cult of tech founders peaked in the decade, with disastrous consequences for companies such as WeWork and Theranos. Musk shows us the two sides of the cult of tech leaders – vision and disaster.
Spotify Goes Podcast
In 2019, Spotify stopped calling itself a music company and began calling itself an audio company — a subtle shift intended to bring podcasts into the spotlight. The company began acquiring podcast networks such as Parcast and Gimlet Media, as well as podcast creation app Anchor. It pursues high-profile deals with the Obama family, new playlist systems and smarter advertising targeting. This is a new way of podcasting that has developed into a fragmented market. If Spotify’s bet pays off, it could put the company at the center of its advertising market and take a slice of Apple’s share.
Apple cancels AirPower
The decade ended with one of Apple’s most embarrassing moments ever: the sudden cancellation of its wireless charging pad AirPower project. The product looks convenient; it was supposed to charge three devices at the same time, but there are reports of overheating problems. When AirPower missed its initial 2018 release, it looked like an unannounced delay — not uncommon given Apple’s ghostly product launch cycle. In March, a new AirPower image appeared on Apple’s website, even on the box of the AirPod, Apple’s second-generation wireless headset. But at the end of March, Apple abruptly canceled AirPower, simply saying it “doesn’t meet our high standards.” We may never know what’s going on with AirPower, but it’s assumed that Apple will be more cautious about launching the new product until it’s actually ready.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin leave Google
When Larry Page and Sergey Brin officially left Google, they had been absent for a long time. Neither of them has been at the company’s full-time meetings for several months, and the two have been largely out of management since Google restructured into Alphabet in 2015. The non-Google Alphabet project has largely stalled, and the power of business decision-making has been left to Sundar Pichai. In a sense, it feels like the departure of the two men is an official recognition of the reality of years.
Once upon a time, the departure of the founder would have plunged a technology company into self-doubt, but at Google the departures of the two men were a relief. The two men are closely linked to Andy Rubin’s sexual harassment claims, which triggered the biggest employee strike in the industry’s history and left Mr Pichai in a bind. Faced with internal disputes over government contracts, the world’s largest video platform squaapling, and feuds brewing with Republicans and Donald Trump, Pichai needs a lot of help and luck to get through, and Page and Brin’s affairs will only distract him. It’s time for the two to leave.
For Google, this is a depressing note at the end of the past decade and an important lesson. Google, like other industries, has grown up, and at a time when it needs more smart managers than geniuses, who are in short supply as 2020 approaches.