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Then + Now: Predictions of the 21st Century

We have entered the first century of the 3rd millennium and it goes without saying that technology has come a long way since the Stone Age… But do you ever stop to think about how absolutely crazy it is that you’ve literally just tapped a piece of glass (on your iPhone that is) to transmit a message (almost instantaneously) that can be viewed by thousands and thousands of people all around the globe? As I am typing this on my MacBook Air – a vessel, that has access to libraries and libraries worth of information, and only weighs just over a kilogram (a cantaloupe can weigh more) –  I reflect on how only 300 years ago, I would have had to write with a quill and ink, and getting a major hand-cramp doing so.

Which brings me to the theme of this post: Predictions of the 21st Century. There are some pretty funny ones and some that are just frighteningly accurate.

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” – Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp [1977]

“We will never make a 32 bit operating system.” -  Bill Gates [1983]

Well, we sure showed them. iPhones alone have a 64 bit OS and according to a U.S. Census Bureau report from 2000, 54 million households have one or more computers.

Illustrations by French artist, Villemard in 1910 depicted his imagination for what the year 2000 had in store and although not quite what email dictation and video chat are today, it’s amazing that these drawings were made over a hundred years ago.


Google, is this you as predicted in 1969, in an article from How Things Change??


These kids from a 1995 PSA about the internet go so far as to predict the increasing popularity of cat-related things on the internet.


On a more serious note, a 1964 article in the New York Times gave some foreshadowing on the privacy rights issues that we’ve inherited with Facebook and the like:

“in the new technology, there will be problems in preserving human values and protecting the rights of individuals…”

Detail has a lot to thank for when it comes to technological advances. Our whole process and strategy depends on computational capabilities and the internet. David can give digital life to his drawings and design beautiful logos using Illustrator. Michael can see what our clients are up to via Twitter. And I have just used Google to do research for this blog post that would have taken me days and days at a library. One of the most impressive things to have been developed in recent years is Cloud Computing. It allows us to fully maximize collaboration amongst our team and most importantly, with our clients. We’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing clients that are based outside of Vancouver and thanks to the cloud, we’re able to work with them, just as closely as we do with our Vancouver clients. It has really allowed us to be an international agency.

What are some of your predictions for the upcoming century and how has technology made an impact on you?

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