What Steve Jobs got right and wrong about the web back in 1996 [Video]
Even a man as visionary as Steve Jobs is going to have his hits and misses. In a bunch of interviews given around 1995 and 1996, Jobs was already predicting the importance of ecommerce.
About 15% of goods and services in the US are sold from catalogues or via television. All that’s going to go on the web and more. Billions and billions, soon tens of billions of dollars worth of goods and services are going to be sold on the web.
But as Business Insider noted from a 1996 Wired interview, he didn’t get everything right. It’s hard to even remember a time when Google wasn’t the first place we started when researching anything from a new gadget to traffic conditions, yet Jobs didn’t see us using the web as a source of information.
We live in an information economy, but I don’t believe we live in an information society. People are thinking less than they used to. It’s primarily because of television. People are reading less and they’re certainly thinking less. So, I don’t see most people using the Web to get more information. We’re already in information overload. No matter how much information the Web can dish out, most people get far more information than they can assimilate anyway.
He was right about the information overload part, but didn’t predict how using the web as an information source could enable us to cut through to the precise information we need.