Original Disruptors – Inventions that Changed the World
The human mind has always had a drive for inventing, trying new things and exploring the possibilities of design. While invention and innovation are a constant, ongoing force, there are a few inventions that stand out in history as having drastically changed the lives of people across the globe. So what are the services and objects that are still pervasive in our lives today and who were the people who invented them?
Early personal computers first came on the market in the 1970s and were mostly geared at hobbyists and those with the technical skills to build and use them. As with many other complex technological inventions, the personal computer’s rise in popularity was largely reliant on another invention – the microprocessor. Before this invention, computers were generally large, expensive systems owned by large organizations such as universities, corporations and government agencies.
The personal computer was revolutionary because for the first time the power and influence of technology were placed in the domain of the individual, rather than an external, large organization. It’s difficult to attribute the invention of the personal computer to just one person since projects and innovations arose parallel to one another, so we will give credit to Frederico Faggin. He led the project which created the first commercially produced microprocessor – the Intel 4004.
While you may think the electric car is a modern invention, it’s actually been around since the 1880s! That’s a full 20 years before the first affordable gas automobile. Gustave Trouvé of France is credited as the inventor of the first electric moving vehicle, while German inventor Andreas Flocken’s Elektrowagen is regarded as the first real electric car.
What’s interesting is that Trouvé was unable to patent his invention, so he went on to adapt his battery-powered motor to marine uses and invented the outboard engine. One Invention can often propel the development of other projects!
The electric car is now making a comeback as environmental concerns grow and alternate sources of energy are being explored.
Downloadable Digital Media
We’re all used to using a music streaming service, but records, CDs and DVDs were prevalent for record singles until the 1990s. When the music industry phased them out, peer-to-peer file-sharing technologies emerged (shoutout to Napster!). These were illegal and were eventually replaced by online retailers like the iTunes Store and Amazon.com.
The sales of physical recordings such as tapes and CDs were all but eliminated in favor of downloadable digital media.
From totally transforming how we shop for goods to forcing retailers to invent new business models, eCommerce is a force to be reckoned with. Just like the personal computer, it gives power to the individual by allowing small retailers to sell their goods without having to pay the often prohibitive cost of a brick-and-mortar store.
As the digital revolution continues, will you be ready to adapt to the constant change and innovation that is happening all around us? Find out how Westmount Solutions can help you improve and grow your store.