As the decade draws to a close, you’re likely to see more and more articles and charts with a “decade in review” theme. Since technology is both my passion and the way I pay the rent, as well as an amorphous, unpredictable beast, I make note of those that look at changes in the field.
One that caught my eye is this chart from the Wall Street Journal comparing the top companies in 1999 against the top companies of 2009 (click it to see the full size version, a 500K PDF):
Tech companies made the majority of the top 25 in 1999; in 2009, energy and finance companies were the leaders. Other changes that took place over the decade include:
Tech companies (shown in dark blue) that were in the top 25 in 1999 (left side of the chart):
Tech companies (shown in dark blue) that were in the top 25 in 2009 (right side of the chart):
Companies that were also in the top 25 in 1999 are shown in bold italic.
NYU professor William Easterly, in his article at the Aidwatch blog, writes that the changes between 1999 and 2009 suggest that this is more evidence of consumerization and that the “consumer” is king (I don’t like the term but can’t find a satisfactory substitute; I agree with Jerry Michalski – it makes us sound like “living gullets whose only purpose is to gulp down products and crap out cash). “The consumer,” he writes, “wants iPhones in their Xmas stocking and not whatever Worldcom had been pretending to be producing.”
The bringing of technology to consumer markets before business markets means a number of things:
It’s food for thought as you make your personal and career tech plans for 2010.
This article also appears in Global Nerdy.