AOL
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How quickly we forget!

According to an an article in the Silicon Alley Insider this week, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Owe Everything to AOL.  This was the message that the new AOL CEO, Tim Armstrong (former Google SVP) had for the AOL troops.

How true.

The article referenced AOL Instant Messenger (AIM),  buddy list, and keyword search as predecessors to Twitter, Facebook, and Google, respectively.

But, does anyone remember Compuserve? Or Prodigy?

Even AOL had its predecessors.

Innovation, not unlike the scientific process of discovery, often comes by advancing, adjusting, re-combining, or re-inventing innovations that came before.

The hard part is understanding how, when, and to what extent to leverage the lessons from the past in addressing the needs of the present (and the future) – something we try to consider every day in the publishing industry!

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Ann Michael

Ann Michael

Ann Michael is Founder and CEO of Delta Think, focused on strategy and innovation in scholarly communications. Throughout her career she has gained broad exposure to society and commercial scholarly publishers, librarians and library consortia, funders, and researchers. As an ardent believer in data informed decision-making, Ann was instrumental in the 2017 launch of the Delta Think Open Access Data & Analytics Tool, which tracks and assesses the impact of open access uptake and policies on the scholarly communications ecosystem. Additionally, Ann has served as Chief Digital Officer at PLOS, charged with driving execution and operations as well as their overall digital and supporting data strategy.

Discussion

1 Thought on "Owing It All to AOL?"

Maybe we all owe it to Spike: http://www.usenix.org/publications/login/1999-2/isp.html

Or really we owe it all to DARPA:
https://mywebspace.wisc.edu/jcthomsonjr/web/j561/timeline.html

I, for one, certainly do not miss the days of 2400 baud modems!

Fortune favors the prepared mind. Not that one needs to be on the bleeding edge of technology to be successful, but understanding its ramifications and applying them quickly is one of the keys to success in any industry. That is where AOL succeeded (years ago) and where others are now leading.

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