25 years of digital innovations: Year 2011 to 2015

Do you remember when we did the Ice Bucket Challenge? When we started to send pictures to each other through Snapchat? Or when technologies like Dart and Vue.js were launched? Between 2011 and 2015, there were many new technologies launched and services that are still relevant today.

We will continue our blog series with the year 2011. This is the year when we were named a “Super Company” by Veckans Affärer, in Sweden, and the following year we trained our 1000th Scrum Master through Softhouse Academy. Microsoft launched Office 365, a software and service package (SaaS) that offers Microsoft Office applications and data storage for private and company customers. At the same time, you got the opportunity to download apps to your computer through macOS in the App Store. In 2011, Adobe launched Creative Cloud, which is a cloud-based software for web development, graphic design, animation, video editing, and photo editing. Another cloud service that is still widely used today, to organize and structure its work on the computer, is the project management software Trello, which was launched the same year. A communication service that has received a boost this year is Zoom. The service was founded already in 2011 by Eric Yuan but has during the last year’s pandemic received a big boost and is today known by most of us. Zoom is used for online communication and includes voice and video calls and chat. Zoom has become extremely popular in the last year and has several smart features such as dividing your meeting participants into different rooms and conducting surveys directly in the tool. In 2013, another popular communication service was launched, Slack. The tool that all of us developers love. This is a cloud service that helps teams and organizations perform tasks together, chat with each other, and manage shared resources online.

Online and streaming services became increasingly popular during these years, and Netflix introduced its online video streaming service in September 2011. Netflix’s services allow you to watch movies and TV shows directly over the Internet. Netflix is ​​today a given entertainment channel in many homes, in April 2020 the service had over 182 million users worldwide.

From Gangnam Style to the Ice Bucket Challenge

Most people have probably heard of the music video “Gangnam Style” which many of us danced to in 2012. The song became a hit, and a social phenomenon, with over 1 billion views on Youtube. Two years later you could have been one of “Ice Bucket Challenge”? For those of you who missed this trend in 2014, it involved pouring a bucket of ice-cold water over your head. This was done to draw attention and jointly donate money to further research on ALS. The challenge spread online and several celebrities were involved, ranging from George W Bush, Bill Gates to Justin Bieber. Over $ 100 million was raised for ALS research and more than 2.4 million videos with the challenge are available on Facebook. At the same time, we opened two new offices, one in Växjö and one in Sarajevo, Bosnia, which became our first international office and it was founded by Himzo Music.

The Internet as well as various different mobile services took over the world more and more. In 2011, the social media Snapchat was launched. Snapchat is a picture messaging service that allows users to exchange photos and videos but is then automatically deleted shortly after the message is displayed to the recipient. Snapchat currently has over 293 million active users. Another media and application that has taken the world by storm is the app Tinder which was launched in 2012. Tinder is a dating app where you “swipe” right or left depending on whether you like what you see on the screen and have made many of us date in a completely different way than before. Today, Tinder has 57 million active users and with so many users, it should be easy to find love, right?

The use of the mobile phone and emojis is growing and becoming more common after Apple introduced them on the iPhone in 2011. Another thing that is also used extensively today is “GIFs”. In 2013, Giphy created a public database of animated GIFs that allow users to upload and create animated GIFs.

For You who have always dreamed of being able to upload photos online or save other people’s photos as inspiration got the opportunity to do this in 2010 when Ben Silbermann founded Pinterest. Pinterest is a website that allows users to share photos or create photo collections based on interests and hobbies to gather inspiration in a smart and structured way. In 2011, an app was introduced as a complement to the website, which increased the number of users. At the end of 2011, Pinterest had 11 million visitors every week, which today has grown to 250 million active users every month.

Youtube broke an internet record with over 8 million live views when Felix Baumgartner jumped from an air balloon that rose to the limit of space on October 15, 2012. In the same year, Facebook crossed the border with, breathtakingly, 1 billion active users.

Smart solutions are growing

Technology is evolving and more “smart” solutions are coming to the market. One of these is the smart speaker Amazon Echo which was launched in 2014. The speaker is placed in the home and the speaker assistant “Alexa” is ready to answer questions that are asked by talking directly to the speaker. Many people feel some anxiety about placing a constantly switched-on microphone in their home, but the fear seems to pass quickly for many as the product becomes a success and a start for all the smart speakers available on the market today. One year later, Apple launched another smart product, an Apple Watch. A smartwatch that combines the function of a traditional wristwatch with functions from iPhone and iPod. Apple is also introducing a new security feature for the iPhone, Touch ID. This means that the home button on all models after the iPhone 5s is replaced with an embedded fingerprint reader.

In Sweden, the discussion about e-identifications has been long. Finally, there was a solution, 2011 Mobile Bank ID was launched which makes it possible to log in and sign agreements and documents directly on the mobile. This simplifies government matters and e-commerce and in turn paves the way for the Swish payment service, which was launched the following year. Swish makes it possible to send money between devices and sign the transfer with Mobile Bank ID. Now it was easy to share the bill after a restaurant visit or buy a gadget from someone without having to handle cash.

A replacement for JavaScript?

As more people started using computers and mobile phones, the development of the various programming languages ​​also took off. In 2011, Google launched “Dart”, a web-based open source programming language. Google launched Dart in the hope that one day it would replace JavaScript as the primary programming language for web applications. A few years later, Evan You released a framework tool, Vue.js, also known as Vue. Which is a free JavaScript framework with open-source for creating web applications. The framework provides tools for extending HTML, creating reusable templates and components, and designing responsive, “mobile-first” user interfaces.

More programming languages ​​were launched and one of them is Julia, developed by Jeff Bezanson, Alan Edelman, Stefan Karpinski, and Viral B. Shah. Julia is a programming language used for scientific calculations. It can be used for, among other things, statistical calculations and data analysis, similar to the R-programming language. One of its strongest functions is multiple transmission – a type of polymorphism that allows functions to behave differently based on the data type of the arguments they receive. Another language that made its entrance at this time was Babel, a general programming language that was first released in 2014. It is designed to write programs that are designed to save system resources and battery life on the devices on which they run.

Last but not least, Jupyter, also known as “Jupyter Projects”, is an organization that creates interactive, open-source computer software. It was founded in 2014 by Colombian physicist and software developer Fernando Pérez, as a language diagnostic version of the IPython (interactive Python) project. Jupyter provides tools for mathematicians, researchers, students, data analysts, and computer professionals to write code interactively, view real-time results and publish results on the web.

For example, if you wanted to get a “nice” website, but lacked programming skills, Squarespace, founded by Anthony Casalena, now gave you the chance. In 2014, the Squarespace service was launched, which made it easier for you to build and run websites. The feature has many different templates and has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface to make it faster and easier to add content. In 2019, Squarespace hosted over one million websites.

Internet Hall of Fame

Between 2011 and 2012, Google will release more products and services. One of them is “Google Chromebook”, which is a laptop, but it is different from other laptops. This is because it requires the internet to work and everything is stored directly in the cloud. At the same time, they are launching Google Chromecast, which is an HDMI dongle for the TV. After connecting Chromecast to a TV or monitor, supported devices (including laptops, computers, smartphones, and tablets) can send their screen over Wi-Fi or use, for example, their mobile phone as a remote control. Another service that will be launched at the same time is Google Drive. The service is a cloud-based storage service that contains several different online services such as spreadsheets, presentations, documents, etc. Google Drive is used to share files, edit documents, and sync your saved files across multiple devices.

Last but not least, a Swede took  place in the Internet Hall of Fame and is still the only Swede who ever since have taken a place there, Anne-Marie Eklund-Löwinder. In 2013, Anne-Marie, who is an internet pioneer and head of security at the Internet Foundation, was awarded a place in the Internet Hall of Fame for contributing to Sweden being the first country stop domain in the world to secure its zone with the DNSSEC security system. This system is a way to ensure that website addresses lead the visitor to the right place. Anne-Marie is also one of 12 people in the world who have the “key to the internet”. How cool is that?

During these five years, lots 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 years. At the end of the year, we will continue to talk about 25 years of digital innovations. Then we highlight what happened between the years 2016 until today – stay tuned!

Do you want us to delete any image we used or do you have any other questions? Contact us at marked@softhouse.se