Look around the room you are sitting in. Everything in there, obviously, has come from somewhere else. Everything you can see at one point did not exist, and now you simply take it all for granted. The same thing is true with whatever device you are reading this article on. Once upon a time, it did not exist, not even as a concept, but an inventor had an idea. They built a prototype, someone else improved upon it, and an innovator saw it had more potential. Next thing you know, you have this brilliant piece of technology, and the most often you probably think about it is when you wonder how much charge is left in it.
The improvements that have happened in the world of technology in the last few decades are far different from the world that preceded it. Many of the then modern inventions that burst on the scene between the 1940's and the 1980's were the result of either corporate research and development or civilian application of military inventions. Once the ability was developed to make computers both smaller and more powerful, people had the opportunity to not just tinker with ideas in their garage or basement, but the means to let other people know about it, without going through the traditional channels.
The one constant in all of this has been the inventor, or the innovator. Progress in every field throughout human history has happened because somebody scratched their head and said., "Good, but it can be better." In 1996, a couple of students at Stanford University saw this new thing called the World Wide Web and thought that there had to be a way to improve upon it. They spent two years working out of their dorm rooms before finally moving into their first official office: a garage.
19 years ago, I used my computer for rudimentary emails and as a glorified word processor. These two guys used theirs to change the world. I was playing Tetris. They were being named one of the best websites of the year. You may not know the names Larry Page and Sergey Brin, but you certainly know what they created. Even if you use a different search engine, odds are when people asked how you got the information, you tell them you googled it.
Google was just another small start-up company that changed the world because they had the desire to do more and the support of people who saw their product and believed in them. All over the country and around the world today, men and women are working on their own new innovations, technology that the rest of us might not even imagine but they think of when they look at something and say, "Good, but it can be better."
Incidentally, how did I find out the history of Google? Easy, I just googled it.
http://www.thejumpstarters.com Jack Terry is a freelance writer who follows trends in start-up and small businesses.