The last 30 years
By Adrian Mello - November 1, 2005
Thirty years is an ambiguous period of time. In one way, 30 years seems quite brief. Many of our readers can easily recall the music, political events and television shows of 30 years ago. But within the electronics industry, 30 years is a long time.
Thirty years ago, there were no PCs, cell phones, DVD players, Web browsers, digital cameras, ASICs or FPGAs. Thirty years of electronics development has enabled communications, data and entertainment to span immense geographic distances and cultural barriers, making the world a smaller but more complex place. And 30 years ago, this magazine came into being.
To celebrate the milestone, we started thinking about all the important things that have happened in the brief but truly long time ELECTRONIC BUSINESS has chronicled the electronics industry. We take the measure of the last 30 years in several articles, covering the 10 most important business developments, executives, technologies and companies.
Whether or not you agree with our choices, I think you will be amazed by how much has happened in the last 30 years and how much the industry has changed. Of course, some things have remained constant. For example, Moore's Law continues to propel the industry forward at breakneck speed. In "The 5 Most Enduring Principles," we look at the basic truths that underlie the electronics industry.
Choosing the companies, people, technologies and business developments wasn't easy. There were plenty of other deserving candidates, and we had some pretty heated discussions about why certain other candidates should also be on the lists. In the end, we focused our choices on the very fabric of the electronics industry.
However, it's difficult to imagine the success of the electronics industry today without the rocket booster provided to the business by the personal computer revolution. Apple Computer, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were crucial to the introduction and development of the personal computer. And Microsoft and Bill Gates had an unquestionably immense impact on the popularization of personal computers, by establishing a dominant operating environment and business model.
The cell phone and the companies responsible for it have also driven the broad adoption of electronics beyond even the heady numbers of people who have bought and use PCs. Other devices such as DVD/CD players and digital cameras and technologies such as LCD and flash memory have also played an important role in the growth of the electronics industry.
I could go on, but you get the idea. It also goes without saying that behind the many people, companies, technologies and business developments, there were many other important people and companies playing crucial roles in these achievements. They have a prominent place in the 30 years of editorial coverage that made it possible for us to celebrate ELECTRONIC BUSINESS' 30th anniversary. The magazine wouldn't have existed without their contributions and brilliance, and for this, they have our heartfelt thanks.
What's your favorite memory of the last 30 years? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adrian Mello is EB's editor-in-chief.