Introduction: The Third Wave

The first mention of the word ‘social media’ dates back to at least 15 years ago. Ted Leonis, a former executive at AOL, was quoted using the term in 1997: “social media, places where they can be entertained, communicate, and participate in a social environment”. Thanks to Web 2.0 technologies social media enhanced websites like Friendster (2002) and MySpace (2003) could emerge.

Amazingly, it took these type of websites, referred to as ‘social networks’, just a few years to reach critical mass. After the introduction of smartphones (particularly the Apple iPhone in 2007) and fast (mobile) networks, the adoption rate of social media grew exponentially. Today, with over 1.1 billion members, Facebook is at the pinnacle of these social networks. Followed by Google+, Weibo, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Renren and many others. Each reaching out to several hundreds of millions of people. With these numbers it is hard to renounce the dominant factor of social media in our everyday lives.

Social media has been referred to as the Second Wave of the internet (2001). The First Wave started in 1991 with the foundation of the world wide web by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau. If Moore’s Law would apply – and of course it does – the Third Wave will start 10-15 years after the Second Wave. Which is .. well .. about now.

What will this Third Wave be like?

That is precisely the question this blog is intended to answer. Because it is vital to the survival of your business to understand the implications. We believe the Third Wave of internet will be more disruptive than anything we’ve encountered so far. You better be prepared!

Presentation The Third Wave

If you can’t escape the next wave, go ride it. That was our message of our presentation on the Technology2020 event at the NCD in The Netherlands.


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