Back in 1996, before the iPhone, before Amazon was a giant, even before Google was a household name, Steve Jobs was at the forefront of everything tech. In 1996, he returned to Apple after a hiatus, and was celebrating the success of "Toy Story" created by Pixar, a company he established in 1986.
He also gave Wired Magazine an interview where he offered up many predictions about the future and technology. Turns out, nearly 20 years later, he was right about a lot of things.
Jobs' predictions and why he is right
1."There will be Web dial tone everywhere. And anything that's ubiquitous gets interesting."
Example: Look around you. Do you see anyone without a smartphone or some type of Internet connection nearby?
2. The rise of e-commerce. "It's commerce. People are going to stop going to a lot of stores. And they're going to buy stuff over the Web!"
Example: Amazon's $105 billion in sales in 2015.
3. The web will get rid of middlemen. "The best way to think of the Web is as a direct-to-customer distribution channel, whether it's for information or commerce. It bypasses all middlemen. And, it turns out, there are a lot of middlepersons in this society. And they generally tend to slow things down, muck things up, and make things more expensive. The elimination of them is going to be profound."
Example: There are tons of direct-to-consumer startups like Warby Parker, which sells eyewear frames; Casper, which sells mattresses; and Kickstarter, which lets people monetarily support products they want to see get made.
4. Large companies will get hurt. "The Web is just going to be one more of those major change factors that businesses face every decade. This decade, in the next 10 years, it's going to be the Web. It's going to be one of them," Jobs said.
5. Online storage - aka the Cloud. "The minute that I don't have to manage my own storage, and the minute I live primarily in a connected versus a stand-alone world, there are new options for metaphors.
"I don't store anything anymore, really. I use a lot of e-mail and the Web, and with both of those I don't have to ever manage storage. As a matter of fact, my favorite way of reminding myself to do something is to send myself e-mail. That's my storage," Jobs said.
Example: The Cloud, iCloud, Google Drive
6. Tesla's business model. "Take auto dealerships. So much money is spent on inventory — billions and billions of dollars. Inventory is not a good thing. Inventory ties up a ton of cash, it's open to vandalism, it becomes obsolete. It takes a tremendous amount of time to manage. And, usually, the car you want, in the color you want, isn't there anyway, so they've got to horse-trade around. Wouldn't it be nice to get rid of all that inventory? Just have one white car to drive and maybe a laserdisc so you can look at the other colors. Then you order your car and you get it in a week," Jobs said.
Example: When you buy a Tesla, you test drive a sample car and order the one you want online and will be delivered at a later date.
7. The demise of desktop computers. "The desktop computer industry is dead. Innovation has virtually ceased. Microsoft dominates with very little innovation. That's over. Apple lost. The desktop market has entered the dark ages, and it's going to be in the dark ages for the next 10 years, or certainly for the rest of this decade."
Example: PC sales are continuing to fall.