As recently mentioned by Google the internet as we know it is now thirty years old. Thirty years ago to access the internet you needed a desktop computer and a modem. You needed to install software from a disk or floppy that you would receive via mail, postal mail that is. One of the popular providers of that time was America Online (AOL). To actually access the internet your desktop needed to be plugged into an electrical outlet. The modem would dial out to a remote computer using your telephone line. For those of us old enough to remember the modem made a screeching annoying sound that would cease once the modem line was connected to the receiving computer. Response time and down load times were ridiculously long.
Thirty years ago there was no practical use for businesses to utilize the internet. The first real application that a business would make internet enabled was email. At first for internal communication on an internal network and then rather quickly enhanced to enable correspondence between one business to another.
Internet capabilities and access improved as technological advancements came into existence. Modems went away replaced by direct internet access, Wifi, and mobile phones. Now new businesses were popping up and changing the way one would shop and purchase products from music, to books, to clothing. The established brick and mortar type stores were under sieged and if they were unable to provide an online access to their goods they were in all likelihood doomed.
Today we are in the age of the Internet of Things (IoT). So called smart devices exist everywhere. Whether it be a thermostat in your home that you can control from your mobile phone, or your refrigerator’s water filter automatically being reordered without your intervention, or the autonomous driven car all have evolved because of the internet.
Suffice it to say the creation of the internet may quite well be the biggest and most impactful invention of the latter 20th century and in the first part of the 21st century can be aligned in importance to people as the television was to people in the mid-20th century.