> last big innovation, and are have Apple winning market share on style
> instead of companies providing innovation that turns the world upside down

I vaguely remember that I the past it took about 50 years from an
innovation to appear until it became mainstream.

Okay, my favourite example (again) for a counter-innovation: reading
books on the iPad. In the 1970s, I read books, real book. A lot of
them. And, especially when reading in bed, I found that were room for
improvement. First of all, the need to flip pages. It would have been
cool if books had a button "next page". Or, even better, a video
camera which tracks eye motion to flip pages automatically.

When not reading, I sometimes watched TV (when there a TV program,
back in these days TV stations were only transmitting a few hours a
day). One of my favourites was "Raumschiff Enterprise" ("Raumschiff"
being the german word for "spaceship"). Yup, that was the german title
of "Star Trek". And there they had the electronic book reader which
could flip pages automatically!

In the 1980s, computer keyboards began to sport a "next page" key
(nowadays most commonly labelled Page Down or so). In the 1990s,
portable computers began to appear. E-Books remained rare - the
technology was there for page flipping via buttons, but not the
content. The time was not yet right. Nowadays, built-in cameras
are commonplace in portable computers. There is a market for E-Books,
the content is there. And...we got the iPad, where you actually have
to flip pages the old way. Competing devices, like the Kindle, follow
suit with models with touchscreen comping up in response to the iPad.


Simple. Star Trek ran from 1966-1970. If a new idea takes 50 years to
become commonplace, we can expect user-friendly book to appear no
earlier than 2016.


Or maybe it's just that someone figured out that it's easier to
develop sub-par products and sell them to people with below-average
intelligence than to develop something for an audience which knows
what it wants.

Quite a bit different from the visions of many SciFi authors, which
envisioned that mankind would evolve towards higher intelligence.
Instead, we've an industry which makes being dumb more favourable...

- Klaus


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