Some years just stick out in the cultural memory. 1812. 1914. 1945.
How about 2007?
The idea that ‘the future is here, it is just unevenly distributed’? Thomas L Friedman in his book Thank you for being late seems also to suggest that 2007 was the year the future started to get distributed.
This is also so scarily not-that-long-ago, as history goes, that I remember lots of it.
Late 2006: Google bought YouTube
- Late 2006: the Internet had more than 1 bn users for the first time
- Sept 2006: Facebook, previously just for students, was opened to the world
- Jan 9 2007 at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world: I remember watching the preasentation on my mac.
- 2007 Twitter spun off from an earlier startup and started to scale globally. I remember joining Twitter shortly afterwards courtesy of the Guardian’s Tech Weekly podcast — and finding nothing going on, came off again.
- 2007 AT&T found a way to use software to expand its capacity. Its throughput of data increased 100,000% (in Friedman’s words) between Jan 2007 and December 2014
- 2007 Amazon released the Kindle.
- 2007: Google launched Android.
- Spotify (though Friedman doesn’t mention it here) started in late 2008.
Of course other dates in 2007 may also make a mark on history:
- Bulgaria and Romania join the EU, marking (in the light of future events) its maximum extent?
- BNP Paribas blocked withdrawals by three hedge funds that were drowning in sub-prime mortgages, triggering the financial crisis.
- (And there was a school shooting in the US, only a couple of dozen dead, not news at all.)