Contrary to popular belief, innovation hasn’t stopped. There are exceptionally exciting technologies and companies out there. Some are solving new problems, while others have new approaches for big old problems that haven’t gone away. Why did we ever think the NASDAQ index was a proxy for the health of the technology industry?
The exciting innovations are inter-related, in ways we don’t yet have words for. Social software, Weblogs, rich Internet applications, Web services, unlicensed wireless, grid computing, digital identity, broadband media. We keep seeing more connections pop up everywhere. I believe decentralization is the most useful prism with which to understand these developments, but it’s not the only one.
We’re experiencing a generational shift. “Yesterday” now means the emergence of the Web, not the PC industry. It’s time for a new crop of innovators, leaders, and conferences. Of course, some of those who grew up in the prior era will make the transition and offer their valuable experience. But the reference points have changed.
I think the combination of interesting work going on and the dissemination about that work are both critical factors in giving us the feeling that innovation continues. Today, thanks to the Internet and especially weblogs, it is easier to find us quicker about new developments taking place. Basically, our sources of information have been amplified dramatically in the past few years, allowing us to track multiple areas, find out about new developments quicker and also be able to correlate and connect ideas faster.