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This article was published on May 3, 2010

How do we keep technology exciting?

How do we keep technology exciting?
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

The iPad familyNot a day that goes by that I’m not excited by technology and the times we live in. I have witnessed Google going from a hobby project to a company that dominates the web. Before that I used Altavista when its address was still (Link doesn’t work anymore). I joined Orkut when it had 80,000 members and Twitter when they were at 17,000 members. I flew to San Francisco to pick up 16 iPhone and smuggle them back to The Netherlands and I was one of the first people to own an iPad. I’m a proud early adopter and just love to see where it is al going and what it can bring us.

I might be a dying breed though.

Last week my daughter (8) asked me how old I was when I got my first mobile phone. I remember that moment very well. I was one of the first people who bought one and it took a few years before my friends started to get them too. I must have been in my early twenties. So I explained my daughter that I must have been 20 when i got my first phone. She was amazed and wondered why I didn’t get one earlier so I had to explain to her that mobile phones weren’t invented yet when I was her age. I noticed that she hadn’t realized before that there was a time when mobile phones didn’t exist yet.

My daughters are growing up with the iPhone, Google, Socialnetworking and the iPad. To them all of that is as normal as white bread, the refrigerator and bikes. It is just there.

One day we won’t talk about ‘The Internet’ anymore. It will just be there. People will use it, communicate with it and won’t pay attention to it too much just like you wouldn’t with any other tool. There isn’t much excitement over a hammer. It is just a tool, that does a job.

I’m very certain that the Internet, the Web and all the services we see online are still very young. We are currently at the end of the early youth of the Internet. The Web is only 21 years old. The next 21 years will bring more changes and innovation than ever.

Still, I wonder what the effect n innovation will be in the future. I’m still amazed when I do a Google search or lookup a Wikipedia article. That is because I realize its historical relevance. I know what happened in the past. The generations growing up now might see the Web as we look at electricity. It is just there.

The challenge will be to keep them excited and give them the feeling that they can play a role in the future development of this wonderful thing.