We live in a world of instant gratification. This is something we cannot deny and most of us are apt, at least partially, to fall into this trap.
We want what we want and we want it now.
At the end of each post, I have a picture that says "Vision 2025". This is reminder to keep a long term perspective on things.
I don't know who coined this phrase but it seems to apply across many facets of life. Unfortunately, things take time to develop, a fact that is at odds with the instant gratification we tend to seek.
This is no truer than in the field of technology. Development takes time and failures are a part of the process. Ford became one of the biggest car companies in the world yet it had the Edsel along the way. Air travel is one of the safest form of transportation today, something that was not true in the 1940s and 50s. Research and development goes down a lot of dead ends before arriving at a breakthrough.
Amazon is one of the most successful companies in the world today. The growth rate over the last two decades is nothing short of amazing. Here is what it looks like on a chart.
This is a classic exponential growth chart. The first iterations look like little is happening. Growth, no matter how it is viewed at the time, is nothing compared to what is going to hit. People mistakenly believe little is going on until it is too late.
Retailers all over the United States fell prey to this. Amazon started as an online book store, being a niche player that posed no threat to most companies. The first few years, little took place.
Notice how the explosion starts around the 2009-2010 time period. There is a reason for that. Another exponential mechanism was kicking in.
Around that time, the number of objects the company dealt is was increasing drastically. Suddenly, the online bookstore was much more than that.
We see similar mechanisms all over the place. I believe we are witnessing it taking place both on Steem and within the crypto world in general. In fact, it is even bigger than crypto since that is only one piece to another puzzle.
The Internet took more than a decade to really penetrate the human psyche in the West. What was available in the late 1980s was nothing compared to the end of the dotcom era. While there was a lot of fluff, much technological progress took place.
What is important here is that cryptocurrency is akin to email. It is just one application. People mistakenly look at this industry as financial instead of technical. While the financial component is obvious, it is only a small piece of the pie.
We are embarking upon the creation of Web 3.0. It is not something that happens overnight. A ton of development is required before the technology is even close to being useful to the general public. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts.
Just like the early days of the Internet, it is difficult to picture what technologies we will have in a decade. Social media was not on the minds of most of the early programmers. The idea of sending videos around the world was probably viewed as preposterous when dial-up networks were being used with a very slow baud rate.
Bitcoin is ten years old. This network had a decade to develop and for people to start following it. Steem is a bit over 3 years old. What did Bitcoin look like in 2011-2012? How many people were actively involved with it then?
I read an article last week that talked about Ethereum being four years old. Here is a quote from one who is building upon that network. It talks about the idea of Ethereum as the world's virtual computer.
“I think in four years, Ethereum will be moving past the hardest parts of its ambitious goals around proof-of-stake and scaling. At that point, the network will be able to onboard more users and we’ll start to grow beyond the use cases we are seeing today.”
Are you kidding me? Four years?
That is no joke. This is how people heavily involved look at things. They understand the challenges before them and the mass interconnected web of development that needs to take place to reach a destination. It is not as simple as slapping together some code and, presto, a week later massive change is up and running.
Now let us apply this to Steem. How many on here can honestly say they are looking a number of years down the road? Do you think most took the time to consider how long things take to develop and the projected path of what can be accomplished at that time? Are most on here understanding the trajectory that development takes? Or is it just look at where things are today and assume that is how it will always be?
Here is another quote from the article linked above.
“I believe that ethereum will achieve the original ‘world computer’ vision within the next four years because Ethereum 2.0 will have completed its roll-out. We will have mature scaling solutions (at all layers) and we will have proper privacy solutions.”
These people are looking at Ethereum on a time frame that is a year longer than Steem has been around. Basically, these two believe the world's computer is achievable by 2023.
How many people on Steem are looking at the same horizon?
Obviously, to be fair, Steem's goals versus Ethereum are a bit different. The challenges ahead of Ethereum, in my opinion, are much greater than Steem. Essentially, Ethereum spent fours years getting to the point where it needs to convert from POW to POS. This is a major upgrade that is going to impact everything on the ecosystem and I can envision being a total nightmare to implement.
That is not to say it will not work out. The point is that time, simply, takes time. Many who are working with Ethereum realize that. We are now at the point that people on Steem start to accept that also.
If we look at what took place since the beginning of the year, it is mind-boggling. Some of the solutions that we are using each day were not even available when 2019 entered the picture.
What do you think will happen over the next four years? Heck, where will things be by next Spring? If the things that were already announced come into being, we will be light years from where we are today.
Can you imagine if the Internet had as much publicity in 1992 as cryptocurrency/blockchain today? What kind of articles do you think would have been published?
I bet we would have seen things like:
"It will never work."
"The Internet is a scam."
"Online publications are not real publications."
"The Internet is not reputable like mainstream media."
"The Internet is only for drugs, guns, and hookers." (that was actually thrown about)
The difference was that when the Internet was being developed, it did not have the Internet as a place where people posted their views on things. That is not the case today.
@exyle talks about Steem being the "opportunity of a lifetime". Time will tell if he is right or not but I will say, his actions are following that belief. Others will rip that idea apart as being crazy. After all, STEEM is going to zero according to many.
The funny thing is I do not see that sentiment expressed by those who are actively working on projects tied to Steem. Those people, usually technical in nature, seem to have a different outlook.
Either way, in the creation of Web 3.0, the three year history of Steem is just a blip in time. This process will take more than a decade to complete. There will be many ups and downs along the way which is standard in the tech world.
I believe Steem offers people an opportunity like they never had before. However, Steem will not provide instant gratification. If that is what is sought, perhaps watching a movie better serves that need.
The benefit to being an early adopter is the ability to share greatly in the wealth created. On the other hand, the drawback is having to wait until the foundation is in place before much noticeable happens.
It is a lesson in patience to say the least.
By the way, I looked Amazon's stock chart, notice how it tells a different story than the two referenced above.
It is hard to see but look at how the price went up into the $100 range during the dotcom bubble only to pop (along with everything else). The price languished for 7 years before people caught on to what was happening and the stock returned to that level.
The point is the other charts told the story long before the price action of the market did. Those who were able to see what was going on in spite of the stock price made out very well.
I feel those who are involved in Steem are experiencing something similar. While the pricing action sucks, other "charts" are telling a much different story.
Is it a prelude to what is coming down the road?
I believe so. Give it some time, grasshoppers. We are on a journey that will help to change the world. This will not happen overnight.
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