Sometimes it is hard to forget how much change we have experienced in the recent past. To better help illustrate the point, I’d like to show you two photos. The top photo is from the 1991 hit movie, Pretty Woman. To demonstrate that Richard Gere’s character was a super successful businessman they showed him using a then state-of-the-art technology which was beyond the realm of the average person: the cellphone.
Fast forward to 2008. On the cover of this past Friday’s Wall Street Journal was a photo of an unemployment line in Spain. What was fascinating was that three of the people standing in line were using their cellphones. (Note: The photo to the right is not the photo that was published in the paper.)
My point is this: Technological progress has a way of taking yesterday’s elitist and expensive technology and converting it into a commodity-like necessity for the next generation.
In the next ten years what expensive technologies do you think will become inexpensive? Some of my predictions include: flexible solar cells; rapid prototype manufacturing machines, “Kindle"-like electronic books, and medical diagnostic technology.