This article was first published on PolymathNetwork - Medium
The early days of the Internet
We often draw a parallel between 90s Internet and 2018 blockchain. But this is typically in relation to the financial status of cryptocurrencies and the crash of the .com era.
Today, I’d like to discuss this comparison from a very different vantage point: the evolution of technology.
In the early days of the Internet, hardware and software providers focused on driving innovation by building on an existing infrastructure: the telephone system. This infrastructure had already entered most homes, and, with the help of “modems”, was able to connect anyone to the Internet (remember that sweet sound of music your modem used to make as it opened a window into the “World Wide Web”?). Over the years, connection speeds continued to accelerate, growing faster and faster … from 9.6kbps (1984) to 28.8k (1994), finally reaching a whopping 56kbps (1998).
And so, providers went on to build software and services on this infrastructure. Before you knew it, you could send and receive emails, download research papers, access BBS, etc… Mainstream adoption accelerated as connectivity improved.
The development of standards improved the rate of adoption significantly. With standards in place, software companies could develop email clients, IM clients, or entire software suites that connected to third party service providers through mutually agreed-upon standard interfaces. And with this, came our first integrated experience. With much less expertise, you could browse the web, listen to music, check emails… it was a game changer.
- Did it work? Yes!
- Was it addictive? Totally!
- Did it address the use cases known at the time? Somewhat. ...
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PolymathNetwork - Medium