I’m going to be honest. I’m part of the Millennial generation, but at the latter end of it. I don’t remember any of the companies mentioned except for AOL and Yahoo. That being said, hearing about CompuServ, Genie, and Prodigy and their rapid rise and fall is very similar to what’s happening right now. Looking specifically at programming in recent years, we have seen a crazy amount of change. It almost makes it a no-win situation when starting a company with a specific language/framework in mind because it’s bound to be obsolete in a couple of months. That’s what I gathered from this talk, that you need to be flexible in order to survive. The companies we heard about are dinosaurs because they’re extinct. They couldn’t adapt to an environment that was changing at a breakneck pace. The few that did survive are like alligators. These are like the dinosaurs of old but were able to change themselves just enough to make it out of the catastrophic meteor that was the dot-com bust.
Amazon is a prime example. They sold books online, that was their niche. They were an online book
store. Now they
are a behemoth tech company just 18 short years later. By branching out of their
original goal to sell books, they were able to evolve into the monster
corporation they are now. Sure, they still sell books, but because of the
dot-com bust they were forced to change. The size helped too. Like their dinosaur
counterparts, bigger companies have difficulty changing rapidly. They had
already been around for a while and were established, so when the change
finally came, there was no room for adjustment.