The Top Tech Inventions of the Last 25 Years

David Bosley
David Bosley
April 18, 2016

I asked about 15 or so members of our team what the greatest inventions in technology in the last past two decades have been. So, here it is. This is the top tech inventions of the last 25 years, according to the Phonexa staff.

1. Cell Phone/Smartphone: This was easily the number one selection and the most predictable, for sure, because it’s certainly changed cultures across the globe. As Americans, we tend to think only of our own country, and cell phones have certainly changed our culture, but the cultural change has not just taken place in America.

The video images of the unrest in Egypt was mostly shot on cell phones. In fact, true world change has occurred because of (shopping habits) and with the help of (Egypt) the cell phone. There was one person that did mention the iPhone specifically and I figure that’s because he’s an Apple fan. They did invent the technology, so they should get a little love.

2. (tie) GPS: This surprised me. I find GPS a convenience, sure, but the number two response was definitely unexpected. I did have a few more responses from women than men, so maybe that’s because men still don’t like asking for directions? There was a vote for Google Maps specifically, and for someone who travels the world and incorporates it into their travel, I can see why it’d get the pick over GPS.

2. (tie) Netflix: In a very short time, Netflix has almost become the “Kleenex” of streaming video. The talk around the water cooler is rarely about traditional network shows. It’s far more likely to be about House of Cards or Orange is the New Black.

Netflix releases viewership numbers sparingly and sporadically, so we only have few scraps. We know that the entirety of Season 2 of House of Cards was binge watched by 650,000 of their subscribers in a single weekend. Luth Research estimates that 10% of all Netflix subscribers watched at least a part of Daredevil in the first 11 days of its release.

They’re also changing film development and distribution, but that’s a blog post all its own. In short, they’re a force.

 4. Internet: There was life before the internet, believe it or not. It’s just hard to picture what that life was exactly. The internet has changed everything. Yes, there are apps that have changed the world, but they need the backbone of the internet to exist; socialization, cultural sharing, information gathering, shopping, dating, entertainment, news gathering and distribution, and so much more. The world has never been smaller because of the internet. 

The Single Votes 

There’s Facebook and Twitter. There are people who spend as much time on these two platforms as people used to spend on watching television. There’s also Skype and YouTube, and now that I see the mention of YouTube, I’m surprised more people didn’t vote for it. MP3s and Bluetooth each had a vote, as did HDTV. You could make a strong case that HDTV was the turning point for second explosion of television that we see today; beautiful pictures, even on large screens, have provided us viewing quality (almost) that we had to go to the movies for.

The Company Name Became a Verb

Who knew that cabs with technology and manners would become so important? That’s essentially what Uber is. The ability to order your car easily, track it, and not be subjected to non-stop cigarette smoke has created a transportation revolution.

There’s no denying their success. Uber has faced some challenges of rider safety or governmental licensing, but their customers in large part have come to their rescue. Uber found a market niche and created demand that others did not see. That’s the magic of great marketing.

Finally…

This leads us to my favorite technology invention. It’s more than 25 years old, but it’s so damned important, I’ll allow it. The coffee pot with a timer. Trust me, life before that was the dark ages.

You should ask around your office to find out what they think the greatest technological advances of the last 25 years have been!

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