Do you remember when the first iPhone was introduced and when we listened to Robyn’s latest hit, Dancing on my own on Spotify? Or when the like-function entered social media and changed the world forever.
We continue our blog series with 2006, the year we opened our third Softhouse office at the top of a building on Tegnergatan in central Stockholm. This is the time when you could have been on your way to work easily listening to music from around the world through Spotify. Spotify was launched during this decade and Spotify was founded by the two Swedes Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon in 2008. It’s a streaming service for music, available both as a free and paid version. In December 2020, Spotify had 345 million active users. Another media that many of us recognize is Twitter. Twitter is a social network that today has over 330 million active users every month. In March 2006, the Americans Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass founded Twitter and the same month Jack wrote the first tweet ever; “Just setting up my twttr”. A tweet that 15 years later was sold for 25 million SEK. It is sold as a so-called NFT, non-fungible token. Which means that the buyer gets a digital signature from the creator that shows you owning the post.
If you were interested in visiting for exemple Twitter’s website, you could do it through Apple’s latest computer, the Macbook Pro, launched in 2006. In 2010 Apple also released the first Apple iPad. If you wanted your websites to be easier to access or perhaps you would like them to be apps you could try the first smartphone. In 2007Apple launched the first iPhone. How long Apple worked on the product before it was launched is not known, but at the launch on January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs’ first words about the Iphone were that “This is a day I have been looking forward to for 2.5 years”. A year later, Apple’s biggest rival released the first public smartphone with Android as an operating system. T-mobile released a phone called the G1. The aim was to create a challenger to the then dominant Apple and iOS. Motorola, Samsung and the Astonishing Tribe were linked to the project led by Google where they developed the first phone developed for Android, HTC Dream or G1 as they also called it.
In 2006 we won the Softhouse “Interactive TV Award” in the category “Best ITV Service” with the mobile application of “Facing TV in Cannes”. We organized our first international conference, Öresund Agile; and our customer Skånetrafiken launched a mobile travel planner that we had developed. It won the “Cut the Wire Award” for the best mobile service for the public sector in Karlskrona the same year.
At the same time, other gadgets began to be developed for those who wanted to create new movies or have the technology at home on the couch. In 2006, the drone was launched, a way to film and take pictures from the air. If you wanted to hang out at home with new stuff, Nintendo launched the Wii the same year. Now you could move and play video games at the same time. Of course, you could use the TV for other things, such as watching movies or TV shows. In 2006 we were able to replace the DVD with Blu-Ray. Blu-ray meant significantly better resolution of image and sound than we have previously experienced. In 2007 we, at Softhouse, launched our first Lean Magazine. The goal was to create a magazine that told more about Lean and Agile and became a platform where we could share our knowledge and contribute to new innovations in the market. A few years later, we launched our popular Scrum Master kit, which is a game for you who want to learn more about Scrum and what it is like to work as a Scrum Master.
In 2008 we won the Global Mobile Awards in the “Best Mobile Advertising” category at GSMA in Barcelona with the mobile service “Meet yourself in the future”.
Then the world changed forever
In 2009 the world changed forever. The like-button was introduced. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was initially skeptical of the feature proposed as early as 2007 under the name “Awesome button”, but he was convinced two years later. The feature allows you to “like” other people’s photos and status updates on Facebook. A feature that several other social media then followed. In 2016, Facebook expanded the reaction function to include other expressions as well, positive and negative. However, more and more people are beginning to see the disadvantages of this feature. Researchers have begun to investigate what the function does to us, including that we prefer to only share things that can be perceived as positive and it has been discovered that it is easy to become addicted to getting “likes”.
A platform that uses the like function was launched a year later. In 2010, American Kevin Systrom and Brazilian Mike Krieger launched the Instagram app. An app where you upload photos and follow other users to see their photos. The name is a mix of the words “instant” and “telegram”. Already a month later, the service had one million users – a number that continuously only increased. Today, the platform has 500 million daily users. In Sweden, Instagram is still one of the fastest growing social media. The latest study from 2020 shows that the age group that increases the most on Instagram are actually pensioners.
Another social media that was launched the same year as Instagram was Facebook Messenger which is linked to your Facebook account. Here, users send messages to each other for free through a separate application. Facebook Messenger has really become a hit with over 1.84 billion daily users. In Sweden, Messenger is the most used function of Facebook’s various functions.
Buy with digital money
In the same decade, Adobe launched Lightroom. Lightroom is a professional image editing program for macOS and Windows computers. An editor similar to Photoshop, but easier to use. At the same time, you got the opportunity to start sending your pre-edited photos, or other documents through Dropbox. Dropbox is an online service founded in 2007. Here you can upload your photos, documents or other files and synchronize them between multiple computers, mobile devices and other people. A few years later, in 2009, an Internet-based file-sharing service with a very high file size limit was launched, WeTransfer. Without having to create an account, you could now send files to another email, namely up to 2 GB before it cost you anything – smoothly, right?
In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, a kind of digital currency or cryptocurrency, which enables direct transfer between users without any bank being involved. It is not possible to use bitcoin everywhere, but there are services where you can exchange bitcoin for “regular” money.
The dark side of the internet
By 2010, 85% of Swedes over the age of 16 had access to the Internet at home and 97% of Internet users had access to broadband. Which means that Sweden ranks first on three global IT indices and ranking lists that try to measure different countries’ preparedness and conditions for becoming a successful information technology country. In connection with more people using computers and the internet, there will also be a bunch of internet trolls and laws that must be reviewed.
A group of human rights activists, journalists and technicians start the organization Wikileaks with the aim of disseminating classified material from states and companies (primarily in the USA). The site is controversial and is constantly threatened with closure, but it is still an active organization. At the same time, we are introducing two new laws in Sweden, the FRA law and the Ipred law. The Ipred law was passed in 2009, which means that those who have the copyright to a work have the right to demand information from internet providers about their users, if they suspect copyright infringement, for example that someone has illegally downloaded or uploaded a film or song. The idea was that it would make it easier to find illegal file sharers. The FRA Act means that the Swedish Armed Forces’ radio station can intercept cable-borne traffic that crosses Sweden’s borders, i.e. a large part of internet traffic and telephone traffic.
The United States also began reviewing its Internet security. The National Cybersecurity Center, or NCSC, was created in March 2008 and is a branch of the “Department of Homeland Security” that monitors and protects the US state network. NCSC can monitor, collect data and share information collected from many network systems.
The digital society gained and in 2010 Anna-Karin Hatt became Sweden’s first IT Minister. Previously, the area has fallen under infrastructure, but in connection with the internet growing and everything becoming more digital, a separate ministerial post is being created in the government.
During her time as Minister of IT, Anna-karin creates, among other things, the Digitalisation Council and is involved in developing a digital agenda, which was presented in 2011. The name is “IT in the service of man – a digital agenda for Sweden”. She is also named, perhaps not entirely surprisingly, the most powerful IT woman of the year by the magazine Computer Sweden.
In the beginning of the 2000s, a lot of exciting things happened that we are grateful for today. This article has only included a few of all the major events that occurred during these five years. At the end of October, we will continue to talk about 25 years of digital innovations. Then we highlight what happened between the years 2011 to 2015 – so stay tuned!
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