As early as the 18th century, a patent was filed for a device which people could hold in their hands and use to talk across long distances to each other. While this visionary thinker pictured the first hand held walkie-talkies or mobile phones, it was not until centuries later that the technology existed to make these devices functional and available outside of military applications. Tech visionaries have always been among us and have not only seen the future of technology, but some have actually shaped it, such as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak a/k/a “The Woz”.
I remember back in the early 80′s when “The Woz” and Steve Jobs were selling Apple “kit computers” which geeks and programmers were buying up. Gamer programmers were also buying these kit computers to work on gaming applications, independent of working for a game developer. Jobs and “The Woz” were told time and time again that there was no marketplace for these “kit computers” and that “regular people” would never want or need personal computers. Speculative investors were reluctant to put money into Apple, because financial advisers told them that computers would remain the aegis of corporations, large enterprises, the government, the military, etc. Jobs was one of the visionaries who proved the naysayers wrong. He was also one of the early visionaries for the cloud computing model. Vast server farms, their whisper quiet low frequency hum, in select geo locations around the world, storing and handling vast amounts of data, both for large enterprises and “regular people”.
Whenever I read about some wild technological idea posited for the future, I don’t have the reflexive kick: this will never happen. Instead, I wonder when it will. And will it happen in my lifetime? We must encourage tech visionaries to do their visionary thinking instead of suppressing and discouraging them. Then we must give them the support they need if they have skills as developers, and if not, hand off their ideas to those who can make it happen. For the future of cloud computing, it is here now. Many “regular people” don’t know that computers, devices and applications they use are already dependent on cloud computing storage and other cloud computing capabilities.
Digital art image of John McCarthy, father of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and also one of the early visionaries of Cloud Computing…