I still remember when I first got internet access on my old 486. It was painfully slow, excruciatingly loud, and so very unreliable, but it was a beautiful thing.
In the 90’s, we were still using Windows 3.1, and even though we had the internet at our fingertips, we were still referencing encyclopedias that were distributed on CDs. It was a simpler time.
The internet lay before us like a gigantic unexplored oasis. It was almost too large to fathom for kids born in the 80’s, and if I had to be honest, apart from sending emails, chatting on IRC, and downloading new mouse pointers, we didn’t really know what to do with it all.
Connecting to the internet was also extremely expensive because we had to connect with dial-up modems, which meant we could only spend an hour a day on the net if we were lucky. (I expect I wasn’t the only one who got grounded for running up the telephone bill by staying online for too long!)
But it was OK, because back then the internet was still a novelty and not the absolute necessity it is today. We still rented real videos, bought CDs from local music stores, got lifts from our parents and friends, and only watched series on TV. (If you missed an episode, you just hoped that one of your friends recorded it on VHS.)
Today, all of that (and more) is done online, and an entire industry has risen up out of our necessity to be connected all the time.
Since the first online casino saw the light in 1994 it has boomed into a billion dollar industry, turning more than $100,000,000 a day. That’s six times more than the combined daily earnings of the 23 casinos in Las Vegas. These days there are countless online gambling websites, and even some betting apps that you can use to make the whole experience easier and more pleasant.
If you think about it, the massive success of online gambling is no surprise. Who would want to sit in a stuffy, windowless room sliding coins into a slot machine that thousands of other people have touched, when you can try your luck in the comfort of your own home with a pot of fresh coffee next to you?
That being said, only about 1% of the revenue created by online casinos are attributed to poker games, because other than slots, poker is still a game best enjoyed poker face to poker face.
As already mentioned, before Netflix we still had to leave the safety of our houses if we wanted to see or rent movies, and watching series was even more of a hassle. It entailed consulting monthly TV guides and planning your schedule accordingly.
Since then, most of the video rental stores have closed down and all those hours spent rewinding VHS tapes and browsing covers on white shelves are being spent a bit differently now: streaming video on demand. In fact, Netflix users watch more than 333,000,000 hours of video every day.
Although Netflix doesn’t quite capture the nostalgia of the heydays of television, the fact that it makes whole series’ available at once certainly makes up for it.
Crowdfunding might be one of the most exciting initiatives of our time. Websites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter give anyone with good (or even not so good) ideas the opportunity to exhibit it to the world.
Before these online funding platforms were developed, there weren’t any real word alternatives. If you wanted an idea funded, you had to set up meetings with potential partners or take out loans at the bank. In both of the above scenarios, you had to pay back whoever loaned you the money you needed (with interest), whereas, with Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the only thing you owe your benefactors are your finished products.
Collectively, Kickstarter and Indiegogo collect almost $3 million worth of pledges daily.
PayPal is more than just a different way to pay with your credit card. PayPal has managed to connect people from around the world and not in the way that social media networks like Facebook or Twitter are connecting people.
Before PayPal, it was almost impossible to collaborate with creatives and professionals from other countries on projects and jobs. Not because employers and freelancers couldn’t find each other, but because once the work was done, there was no way to pay and get paid.
By allowing individuals to send money to individuals in other countries, PayPal has revolutionized the way business is conducted. Specialized talent for specific projects can now be sourced from around the world, and freelancers from the Third world countries are able to make a living, despite their dwindling local job markets.
Paypal facilitates more than $700,000,000 worth of payments daily.
For the exact statistics of the companies mentioned above and interesting information on more internet businesses, have a look at the Internet in Realtime Infographic below.
Guest Post Article: By Josh Wardini
Francis Sabutey is the founder and CEO of Think Expand. He is an author, digital entrepreneur, digital marketer, top-notch blogger, and a social media strategist. He and his team works with local businesses and organizations to use digital marketing to attract more customers and build strong brands. To reach him, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call/WhatsApp +233548334499.