CHAPTER 1Welcome to the Future

The shovel is a tool, and so is a bulldozer. Neither works on its own, “automating” the task of digging. But both tools augment our ability to dig.

Dr. Douglas Engelbart, “Improving Our Ability to Improve1

Marketing is about to get weird. We've become used to an ever‐increasing rate of change. But occasionally, we have to catch our breath, take a new sighting, and reset our course.

Between the time my grandfather was born in 1899 and his seventh birthday:

  • Theodore Roosevelt took over as president from William McKinley.
  • Dr. Henry A. Rowland of Johns Hopkins University announced a theory about the cause of the Earth's magnetism.
  • L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in Chicago.
  • The first zeppelin flight was carried out over Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen, Germany.
  • Karl Landsteiner developed a system of blood typing.
  • The Ford Motor Company produced its first car—the Ford Model A.
  • Thomas Edison invented the nickel‐alkaline storage battery.
  • The first electric typewriter was invented by George Canfield Blickensderfer of Erie, Pennsylvania.
  • The first radio that successfully received a radio transmission was developed by Guglielmo Marconi.
  • The Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk.
  • The Panama Canal was under construction.
  • Benjamin Holt invented one of the first practical continuous tracks for use in tractors and tanks.
  • The Victor Talking Machine Company released the Victrola.
  • The Autochrome Lumière, patented in 1903, became ...

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