There have been many technological innovations that looked promising but never survived, and there were some that people felt would not see the light of day, alas! They survived. Most times, people think a new innovation will not work, simply because they do not understand the system. In 1903, before the Wright Brothers successfully flew the Kitty Hawk, a critic of Professor Samuel Langley’s experiment with aircraft’s was of the opinion that there were other better things the Professor could do with his intellect and resources other than wasting them on an impossible feat as trying to fly. That did not stop human flight, as over time, aircraft’s of all types and sizes have been created to transport humans and goods over long and short distances via airways, and more technologically advanced aircraft’s will be created even tomorrow.
The World Wide Web
In 1990 the World Wide Web was introduced to the public, and it had a really slow start, and the reason for the slow start was majorly because only a few people accepted the innovation, the rest was a combination of critics who predicted it would fail and those who had no idea what anyone was talking about. Few people and companies had foresight about the internet, and as such took their businesses to the platform, and it paid out. As time went by, more people became aware of the endless possibilities that the internet brought, and in no time, the internet was bustling with different types of activities. Developers, however, did not go to sleep, they continued toiling night and day to make the internet better, and they have achieved that, now you can do almost everything from the comfort of your seat in your house, including shopping, earning a degree, learning, interacting with different people in different parts of the world, no doubt the internet was a revolutionary and visionary innovation. There are over 3.6 billion people using the internet worldwide, this invariably means businesses and individuals who invested in the internet in its early stages, have profited and are profiting immensely from their investments. Now every business wants to be on the internet, and increase their presence on social media, all in a bid to spread their tentacles and get clients/customers from far and near to patronize them for their products and services. The internet despite the criticisms in its early stage has proven to critics that it is here to stay.
WhatsApp Instant Messaging App
At some point in 2009, the BlackBerry Messenger was one of the best and most preferred instant messaging application, and it thrived majorly because it came with high-end smartphone devices from the blackberry company. Still, in the same year, Koum and Acton came up with another instant messaging platform was created, called WhatsApp. Koum and Acton were former employees at Yahoo. Prior to creating WhatsApp, they applied to work at Facebook, but got rejected. When the application was created, not many people bought the idea, in fact when Acton asked his friends to come invest with $250,000, only a few did, as the others felt it would not work, less than 5 years after, WhatsApp was sold to Facebook for a whopping $19 billion. Now imagine what the early investors would have gained. The WhatsApp app keeps getting better by the day, and this invariably means that despite the fact that many people were skeptical about the survival of the app, it looks like it has gone against all odds and keeps growing, as the subscriber base keeps increasing.
When tablet PCs were introduced, they had a lot of lapses, and a major one was that they were under-powered, and as such, productivity was limited. Then Apple decided to come up with an innovative idea to create tablets that looked just like the iPod Touch and iPhones. This step was met with a lot of criticisms and many were very certain the project would be a flop. However, when the iPad hit the market, about 15 million units of the device were sold, and within 9 months of its launch, it generated revenue worth $10 billion to Apple. Between 2010 and now, there have been improvements and newer models of the iPad, and more than 300 million units of the device have been sold. Even the critics who did not believe the product would succeed have begun to enjoy the product.
Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency
The internet came and was not really accepted at first, and this was because people had no idea what it was or how it could be harnessed. However, with time, everyone began to scramble to join the trending innovative platform. The internet has continued to evolve, and this is due to the efforts of developers working night and day to make the internet a more innovative platform, and this has led to the creation of various opportunities. In 1991, the combination of cryptography and chains of data blocks was talked about by W. Scott Stornetta and Stuart Haber, however, there was no actualization of this notion, and this was because a great many people did not buy the idea. In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto conceptualized the idea, and was responsible for creating and implementing the very first functioning blockchain system along with a digital currency known as “Bitcoin”. The advent of the blockchain also had its fair share of criticisms and this time banks, financial institutions and governments were the major critics, the technology was referred to as just a bubble that would burst soon, and this was because they thought the Blockchain technology was just for the financial industry. However, some people saw prospects in the technology and invested a lot at its early stage, like the Winklevoss twins who have gotten over $350 million of investments in Ethereum, and as at December 2017 owned $1.3 billion in Bitcoin value. Developers of the technology have discovered the application of blockchain goes beyond dealing with finances alone, the technology can be applied to different sectors, and many companies are beginning to invest in the technology, and this is a good move in the right direction, because the blockchain technology is like the internet, only better. So it is best to be among those adopting the technology now.
To the Investor/Business Owner
Investing in any business has its risk, hence it is important to do proper analysis before investing the business. In doing proper research and analysis, you will have an idea what the strength of the business and what their goals are. Despite what critics say about a new business/innovation, you as an investor should look beyond the criticisms and decide for yourself if you want to be an early adopter or not. Businesses should be at the forefront of adopting new technological innovations, as there are benefits to gain from being an early adopter, especially financial benefits.
Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies will prove Doubters Wrong
When Bitcoin was launched in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, there were a lot of criticisms, and only very few people invested in it at its early stage, and the very few people that did invest, are pleased with themselves that they took the decision, because over the years Bitcoin has enjoyed exponential increase in value. The Bitcoin was created to serve as an alternative mode of payment, and also solve the problems caused by traditional banking systems and financial institutions, and the cryptocurrency is living up to its cause.
So many businesses have begun to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as modes of payments, thereby increasing its value. Top companies that have adopted Bitcoin into their system include Microsoft,Amazon, Etsy, Virgin Galactic, Zynga, T-Mobile Poland, Reddit, Shopify, Expedia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Coop Store, and many other smaller businesses are now seeing the benefits. Using Bitcoin has proven to be a wonderful stress reliever as users do not need to bother about bank charges when shopping on an e-commerce website, or when carrying out cross-border transfers, or when do any form of bitcoin-related transactions because the cryptocurrency comes packed with amazing features like: decentralization to avoid interference from 3rd parties and the government, security to ensure safety of funds, private data, and transactions, global acceptability, quick transactions, privacy, anonymity, etc.
A lot of the people that criticized Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, in the beginning, have begun to have a rethink because they have realized the underlying blockchain technology is very powerful and cannot be stopped.
Ethereum is another cryptocurrency that uses the blockchain but somewhat differently from Bitcoin. Developers are able to use the Ethereum blockchain for the creation of decentralized applications (DApps) that can be applied to any industry like medicine, financial technology, music and entertainment, gaming, ride sharing, e-commerce, academics, product tracking, etc. all with the use of Smart Contracts.
Blockchain, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies are technological innovations that should be adopted and not trifled with as they pack a lot of potentials, but like the internet, you either join or get left behind.