August 12th represented the 25th anniversary of the launch of the IBM PC [Economist], the machine that, in combination with MS-DOS, changed the world.
In 1984, I went out and bought an IBM PC jr (thankfully not with the infamous chickle keyboard) and was instantly hooked. The programs were fragile, weak and impractical, but, hey, they were cool and in reality it didn’t matter what they could do. It was simply fun.
In 1986, when we founded our company, I went into a Computerland Store in New York (remember those?) fully intent on buying a personal computer, a PC, not the “jr” version but instead walked out with a bunch of Macintosh Plus computers, the first business machine built by Apple. We attached big monitors to them and installed accelerator cards with extra ram, created our own software and complex macro spreadsheets. It was heaven.
I have been a Macintosh fanatic since that fateful purchase in 1986. We built our business around Mac and I am still wildly enthusiastic about their products. If you are going to devote a third or more of your life to working with a PC, you’d better have fun doing it.
but I digress…
[In 1987, IBM got out of the PC business but PC-clones took over and now there are some 200 million pc’s sold per year. For the most part, it has evolved into a necessary appliance. My father used to tell me you’d never get fired in a company for buying a PC. (Thats not a compliment.)
The real estate business has changed dramatically as the PC has evolved. Listing systems used to accessible by cryptic standalone stations with dull pulsating green screens have been replaced by agents with wireless laptops using web browsers.
Every few years, we upgrade our computers to get the latest and greatest. PDA’s and cell phones have jumped into the fray.
Whats changing now is the evolution and concept of content. PC’s made this all possible. Blogs, multiple list systems, intranets, web sites are being designed to create an experience, not just deliver information.
Software over hardware seems to have our full attention now. The recent housing boom created an Internet boom for real estate. Venture capital has found its way into funding a wide array of incredibly creative ventures. Some will stick, and some won’t, but its inevitable that it will continue to evolve.
Thats the fun part.