There was a time when people buried a sealed container filled with items that represented contemporary life with the intent that the capsule be discovered by future generations. Implicit in this sort-it-forward concept was that the pace of change was so slow that nothing would be of interest for several generations. And of course, once opened, people hoped the future audience would appreciate the glimpse back in time to what life used be like “back in the old days.”
September marks seventeen years The Chariot Group has been in business. And as is typical with anniversaries, at least for me anyway, it is a time to reflect back over the years and review both the accomplishments and challenges. This year’s exhale of relief and appreciation that we had successfully navigated another year in these turbulent times came with something else, something new.
This year my trip down memory lane was accompanied by a pronounced understanding and appreciation for just how much had changed since the company’s inception. For the first time, I saw The Chariot Group as a container of experiences, or a time capsule, that allowed me to overlay the introduction of innovations against a defined timeline.
Here are a few of the markers I am referring to:
- Website – We learned how to launch our first website out of a book we bought at Barnes & Nobel. Websites were still relatively new at that time and there were limited resources.
- Big Monitors – In the year 2000, a cutting edge installation involved installing five 32” CRT monitors with the impressive resolution of 800 x 600. I don’t remember how much they cost but I do recall they weighed over 100 pounds.
- Plasma – In July of 2001 Pioneer introduced its 50” Professional Plasma Display. The unit’s list price was $20,000. By 2014 all production of Plasma displays for the US market had ended.
- Mobile Email – In 2005, we installed a BlackBerry server so we could get email on our new mobile phones.
The list goes on; but I won’t belabor the subject, especially since we all have stories like these! And that’s really the point I want to make in this post.
Metaphorically speaking, we have all become our own time capsules. Our world has changed so much, so fast, that we only need to think back a couple of years to be able to say: Do you remember when…
…a CD was a new technology?
…there were pay phones?
…we use to watch TV on Cable?
…we only had one or two passwords?
It’s pretty amazing how much change we have experienced. This means, of course we have changed a lot too.
We all complain at one time or another about the pace of change. The disruption can be exhausting, not to mention disorienting, and at times frightening. But the fact is that most of us are adapting well and have learned a tremendous amount in the process. And that’s excellent, because there is a lot more on the way and the pace is only going to accelerate.
We are moving toward a world that will have self-driving cars that comfortably interact with voice commands, where the help desk we call for support will become a server enabled with artificial intelligence, and emerging robotic and artificial intelligence technologies will be combined to do more of the dangerous and demanding tasks done by people.
I have fond memories of my grandparents telling me what things were like when they were kids. I remember being in awe about how much change they had experienced. And that change transformed them, just as innovation has transformed us and our environment.
I believe the innovation we are experiencing today has transformed the Time Capsule as well. While it used to be an external container of things, is fast becoming an internal capsule of ideas and experiences that we store in our mind.