I find the evolution of the internet and ultimately ecommerce fascinating. Not to completely age myself but I remember sending my first email in 1992 from my college dorm to my friend from high school who was on the other side of the US. I was the first on my dorm floor to get an email account (email@example.com – don’t email me here, I am long gone). Over the course of college, I got enthralled with the internet to the point that I rewrote AT&T’s website and emailed them to show them how much better their homepage could be. Sadly, what I got back was a threatening letter that their site was copyrighted.
The internet and ecommerce really propelled my career. I worked on homedepot.com in 1999. We were in a furious race to launch in the middle of the dot com boom. I was working ungodly hours as a pretty bad software engineer. My team was building the portal for our vendors to supply us with the data we needed to launch the website. I remember the day we launched and all the things that went wrong. I have a pretty funny story that is too long to share, but basically I single-handedly ruined all the site images on the website. While my career ventured in other areas, eventually in 2005 I ended up launching a website for the retail company my brother and I ran. We had a modest goal of $35k in sales for year 1, we did $250k and off we were running an ecommerce company until we sold it in 2016.
If I look back from 1992 all the way to today, it is amazing how much everything has changed. Since the majority of those reading this are in ecommerce, I thought I would share an excellent infographic on the evolution of ecommerce, nothing should surprise you but I love a good picture to summarize it all. If you look at the end of it, there are some excellent thoughts on what will disrupt it all, will it be 5G? AI (I hope not)? I will address what I think will disrupt things in a future newsletter.