We Are in the Midst of a Revolution of Historic Proportions
Not every revolution has a starting point. What I mean is that there is no definitive moment when you look back and say, "Ah ha! Look right there. There it is—the exact moment Industrial Revolution started." Or the Renaissance—on what day did that start? Even the American Revolution—some say that it started at Lexington and Concord. Not so. In reality, that day was an inevitable event based on other previous and just-as-deadly interactions between colonials and the forces from England.
But my real question is whether the folks of history who lived through the beginning of the social/industrial revolutions know that they were living in a monumental, historic time period.
It is clear that we are in one of the biggest, if not the biggest, social revolutions in recorded history. The access to information is increasingly becoming ubiquitous. Unlike other revolutions this one is happening simultaneously on a global basis. It is happening across social and economic barriers. Did you know that there are some third-world countries that have better national cell phone coverage than the good 'ol U.S. of A?
So, as our industry continues to reinvent itself in this historic era, remember that we are now part of that history, and we will have a major chapter in the critical annals of tomorrow. But I highly doubt that our grandchildren will recognize the publishing industry that we have grown up in. The multiple global sources of information and the availability to instantly know everything at any time has totally revamped our understanding, knowledge and how to not only get it, but monetize it. Combined with the radical idea that it is no longer paramount to know facts, but rather to be able to find facts, that makes this a huge and fundamental social shift of legendary proportions.