In this 2003 TedTalk, Jeff Bezos compared the recent technology bust to the gold rushes of the mid nineteenth century.
Both promised- and initially provided- huge returns, encouraged people to jump aboard en masse, and both collapsed with very little warning. The key difference is, when the North American gold fields were empty, they were empty, but the internet is still with us. With that in mind, Bezos more fruitfully compares the internet boom and the electric industry. Both are thin horizontal layers that exist across industries and help transmit power- or in the case of the internet, knowledge, but knowledge is power, right? Bezos demonstrates that both the internet and electricity required applications for use and innovated over time.
Some innovations proved ill-advised or downright disastrous, but the ones that worked generated revenue. Bezos has an undeniably optimistic outlook on the future of internet innovation, and compares our current level of sophistication with internet technologies with the release of the Hurley Washing Machine in 1908.
Given that, there are a lot of exiting innovations to come!