Most of the things we see around us and use today in our daily lives were ideas or imaginations living inside a person’s brains, decades ago. In the last 10- 15 years, we have seen ideas come to life that has revolutionized our way of living, like helping us communicate with each other wherever we are faster or ordering things on the internet.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen
We can not deny that Microsoft Windows is that tech idea that has stayed relevant and still keeps evolving as the years go by. Microsoft Windows software which was built by two childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen was founded on April 4, 1975. There is no individual today who decides to own a laptop or desktop computer that would not use the Windows OS or its application software such as MS-word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
Gates and Allen started Microsoft, which was initially called Micro-soft for microprocessors and software- to produce software for the Altair 8800, which was an early PC, and by 1978, Microsoft’s sales surpassed $1 million. The software company later went on to license its MS-DOS operating system to IBM for its personal computer, which made its debut in 1981. Although, at that time computers didn’t have a digital interface or GUI (graphical user interface). However shortly after Allen parted with Gates due to his bout with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which he successfully defeated. Microsoft went on ahead to build its first operating system with a graphical user interface in 1985 and included it with actions like drop-down menus, scroll bars, etc. By 1995, Microsoft was already topping both in the business world and in the tech industry, it went public and sold its shares at $21, raising $61 million, and in 1995, it launched Windows 95, which included many exciting innovations and designs.
Since then, Microsoft has released several other versions of the Windows OS and even developed other software applications compatible with Windows and other OS like LINUX. Window’s current version is Windows 11, which was released in October 2021.
Apple is also one of those old companies in which we have witnessed its rise and revolution in the tech industry with amazing products and software which certain people can say hits the mark every time. Apple, founded by three friends, Steve Jobs, and Steve Wozinak, has changed the way many people view computers today. Jobs and Wozniak wanted to make computers small enough for people to have them in their homes or offices.
Jobs and Wozniak started building this idea in 1976 in Job’s garage, they sold their first unit of computers without a monitor keyboard or casing but was later added on in 1977. Apple II changed the computer industry with its fancy first-ever color graphics and this saw its sales jump from $7.8 million in 1978 to $117 million in 1980, which was also the year Apple went public.
Steve Wozinak left Apple in 1983 due to his loss of interest in the day-to-day running of Apple Computer, which made Jobs hire PepsiCo’s John Sculley as president.
In 1985, Steve Jobs also left Apple and went on to establish other bigger ideas, which included NeXT, a company he founded solo, and Pixar, an animation company he bought which has produced movies such as Toy Story, Monsters Inc, and Finding Nemo.
Also in 1985, Sculley refused an offer by Microsoft to license its software but this decision later backfired as Microsoft rose to be Apple’s biggest competitor over the years and even till now.
Due to slow sales in business and shares suffering setbacks on the market in 1996, Apple sought help from its former co-founder, Steve Jobs, making interim CEO and later CEO in 2000, Jobs, made changes around Apple and partnered with Microsoft to launch its Mac version of the popular office software, Microsoft office, which saw the business experience new changes. Jobs also launched iBook(a personal laptop), iPod, and an Mp3 player which soon became a leading product for young people.
iPhone was introduced by Apple in 2007 and has become one of the world’s most successful products, and has gone on to launch several other versions and other popular products like the iPad tablet and Apple Watch. Recently, Apple also launched its version of credit card with Apple Card. Steve Jobs later died on October 5, 2011, but Apple continues his legacy with Tim Cook at the helm of affairs and has seen the popularity of iPhones grow in leaps and bound, with its latest launch of iPhone 14, 14 pro, and MacBook Pro which comes with M2 processor.
Everyone who listens to music in this day can say that Spotify is one of the amazing tech ideas that has changed the music industry. The idea of being able to access a large library of both old and freshly released songs at the click of a button is one thing Spotify is good at.
Spotify, launched in 2008 is a music streaming platform which was founded by entrepreneur and technologist, Daniel Ek. Spotify helps its users have access, thereby streaming and also download songs that can be listened to on its platform. Daniel Ek which first started his business career with Advertigo, a marketing business platform, which he sold to international giant Tradedoubler in 2006. He then focused on the Spotify project after receiving help from Martin Lorentzon, founder of Tradedoubler.
The name Spotify was chosen by both Daniel Ek and Lorentzon, who decide, it was unique and pleased them, it is decoded as Spot: Place – Identify: Identity). This has since been the brand’s identity, with the platform’s ability to allow users to curate songs situated to their taste and also discover new songs.
Since then Spotify has grown to huge heights, recording 170 million active users and 75 million premium or subscription users. Spotify discourages online music piracy which is why it provides its users with a low-cost alternative. Two years after the launch of Spotify, the company was valued at $4 billion and still recording incredible growth. Spotify went public in April 2018 and at its first trading, it held a market value of $27 billion.
No one can talk about social media without mentioning the famous “F” icon, Facebook founded by Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook which is a social networking website was founded by Harvard dropout, Mark Zuckerberg, although he did later finish his education.
Facebook is one platform that has also developed the technological industry. Facebook founded in 2004 is now worth $320 billion net worth value and has evolved since from the little profile and feed page to messaging, video calls, and marketplace as well as exciting new offerings.
Facebook has evolved into Meta, changing its brand name but retaining the name Facebook for the social media application. Under Meta, we have several other exciting new tech products that detail the expansion of Mark’s ideas into developing everyday living for people around the world. Meta which is the parent company, also includes Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp(an instant messaging platform), Messenger, Meta Quest, Oculus as well as others.
Many other tech ideas are turning the world around and making it a better place and with the development in the internet industry, we have seen more companies come out with exciting new products leveraging on old technology or building new ones to advance the tech industry. This development is also being experienced in several other sectors like health, finance, agriculture, etc.
We can not deny that ideas are needed in our day-to-day living to help us make our lives better.