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"the rate of change" exemplified with gmail

Posted by eitan on May 14, 2005 at 9:24 PM PDT

so the world's getting smaller and time's being squeezed, and we all feel like we're a few hundred internet years' old. things don't seem to let up either. the topic of this blog entry is the amazingly short amount of time it took for google mail to become the new defacto email client for the world. only yesterday everyone was using yahoo. now the new game is gmail. forget 'around the world in 80 days' (or in 48 hours). gmail hasn't even had time to get out of beta!

realizations come to us often when we least expect them. and so this one was no exception. i'd just finished giving a talk to the boulder users' group (a few weeks ago). one of the attendees told me his email address for me to jot down in my text editor (or address book, i forget). and started: "it's [username]@gmail.com." and then he quickly realized he'd made a mistake and corrected himself: "..oops, sorry i meant [username]@yahoo.com." the more i thought about this incident, the more i was amused about it. that's it: yahoo mail has been supplanted by gmail and it feels like it was only yesterday when the world of email ran on yahoo. it's interesting to see how there's nothing like a little (or a lot of) competitive pressure to get a company to change. the entire yahoo site's gone through an overhaul recently. the old serif font family has finally been replaced with the more modern-looking sans-serif and the site is sprinkled with nice fresh shades of spring.

the world is changing more rapidly than ever. i wonder..will change still excite me as i get older?