Top Innovations That Didn’t Exist 10 and 20 Years Ago

by | Sep 25, 2018

How did we live without GPS directions on our phones?

I am giving a talk at Washington University today to MBA students. One of the topics is the nature of change and trends. In preparation I researched great products and innovations that affect our lives but didn’t exist 10 and 20 years ago.  Would love any additions you think of.

Things that didn’t exist 20 years ago (1998)

  • iPhone or any smartphones
  • Wifi (barely existed)
  • Google (founded in late 1998)
  • Any social media (no Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc)
  • Podcasts
  • PayPal (founded in December 1998)
  • Wikipedia
  • Netflix
  • Bluetooth
  • Kindle and other e-readers
  • Youtube
  • Swiffer
  • Febreeze

Things that didn’t exist 10 years ago (2008)

  • iPads and tablet computers
  • GPS on phones
  • Google Chrome browser (now has 60%+ market share)
  • Snapchat
  • Airbnb
  • Spotify
  • Instagram
  • Kickstarter and other crowdfunding
  • Lyft and Uber
  • Pinterest
  • Square, Venmo, etc
  • Blockchain technology and bitcoin
  • Waze and other traffic sensitive GPS
  • 4G LTE


  1. This was helpful. Thanks!

  2. Looked for this list to present to my granddaughter for her 20th birthday
    She will wonder how we survived!!

    • The mindset list is fascinating

  3. Here are a few you might want to consider:
    Robotic Surgery
    RFID Payment systems
    Cloud Computing
    Human Genome Completion
    DNA evidence gathering initiated
    4G cell phone capability

  4. Immersion blenders and maybe food processors(sp)?

  5. Great lists. A bit mind-spinning! Possible additions are Fitness Trackers and society-wide attention deficit disorder (due to the lists).

    • Now, Peter, that made me smile. Thanks.


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