Where were you during the internet gold rush?

January 9, 2008 — 1 Comment

I have a birthday that falls within days of the new year. This means I get hit with 2 wake-up calls at once. Another year to look back and reflect on then WHAM! I’m another year older.

Working in the web industry, I am constantly aware of the wealth being generated and the constant, ever increasing change going on. We are truly living in a golden age of wealth and information. I am also aware that I’ve spent my time making other people richer. I missed the first internet bubble, I coasted right through the second web 2.0 rush. And now, in my ear I can hear the distant questions from my future grandchildren who, having read about these golden days in their history book will ask:

“Grandpa, what were you doing when all this was happening? Why didn’t you invent the iPhone?” they’ll ask.
“Well,” I’ll reply, “I guess I was too busy working on other things.”
“Like what?” They’ll ask. They always ask. They are just kids after all. You can not expect them to notice the subtle tension in their grand father’s voice or the the regret in his eyes warning them that some subjects are best not talked about.
“Oh, I don’t remember…some kind of purchasing system for some corporation that threw it away 2 years later.”
“But grandpa, why didn’t you go work at Google!” they say cheerfully flipping back to the colorful page about the search giant. “It says here that even the cleaning staff got stock options and became rich. One of them was even the first man on Mars!”

“Shut up you kids!” I’ll say, “No more books!”

Then when they start to cry I’ll say “Now…who wants ice cream?”

Ben Shoemate

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Ben Shoemate is a web designer and information architect. He cofounded Base22 where he designs and builds corporate intranets, web applications, social networking sites, and web strategies. For fun he does more of the same.