Posted on August 10, 2017 by staff

Join the ‘Tech firsts’ hall of fame


With one week to go until nominations for BusinessCloud’s 101 ‘Tech 1sts’ list close, we’ve gone through some of the most famous examples of pioneering technology for inspiration.

BusinessCloud has joined forces with Havas PR to recognise the risk-takers and the innovators who are looking to change the world.

If you’re doing something completely new, or have fallen in love with a revolutionary tech product, we want to hear about it for our upcoming ‘101 Tech 1sts’ list.

The first social media platform

Although Facebook and Twitter might spring to mind when we talk about social media now, the first platform was a lot more straightforward.

Six Degrees became the first recognizable social media site in 1997. Users could upload a profile and make friends with other users until the sites demise in 2001.

In its heyday, it had around 100 employees and around 3,500,000 fully registered members compared to Facebook which has over 1.2bn.

The first smartphone

For a generation of smartphone addicts it’s hard to imagine life without them but anyone before 1992 had to make do, which is when IBM’s Simon Personal Communicator was unveiled.

It featured a three inch touchscreen, emails, a calculator, simple games and more, and cost $900. However people didn’t actually start using the term ‘smartphone’ until 1995.

The first computer

There are many different types of computer ‘firsts’, from the first programmable computer to the first commercial computer but scientist and inventor Charles Babbage is often tipped as the first computer pioneer.

He invented the Difference Engine and later the Analytical Engine, a mechanical automatic calculating machine which incorporated arithmetic and logic unit, memory, input/output, and sequential control by means of punched cards.

Sadly because of a lack of funding the computer was never actually built in Babbage’s lifetime.

The first album released on CD

Although CD is on its way out, when it arrived in 1982 it was a big deal. The first album to be commercially released was Billy Joel’s 52nd Street and was available in Japan.

CD then outsold vinyl for the first time in 1988, until it was also dethroned by digital releases in 2011.

The first website

The first ever website looks pretty basic compared to what we’re used to but has had incredible repercussions. It was created by ‘father of the internet’ Tim-Berners Lee for CERN’s ‘World Wide Web Project’ in 1990.

The first video game

Physicist William Higinbotham created what is thought to be the first video game in 1958 – a very simple tennis game called Tennis for Two.

Avid gamers would have to wait a while for the first commercial home video game console though, which was The Magnavox Odyssey in 1972.

The first laptop

The Osborne 1 was the first ever commercially successful portable computer, released in 1981. It weighed 24 pounds, compared to a MacBook Air which weighs just three, and cost a whopping $1794.

The first YouTube video

For anyone who spends their free time scrolling through funny YouTube videos you might be surprised to know that the first one wasn’t of a cat playing a keyboard or a ‘fail’ video.

It was called ‘Me at the Zoo’ and was uploaded in April 23rd 2005 by the site’s co-founder Jawed Karim. Watch it below.

If you think your tech ‘first’ could join this hall of fame then apply now!

It doesn’t have to be as revolutionary as these – as long as it has an element of being first to it you could feature on our list.

The 101 products will be included in a list of a 101 ‘Tech 1sts’ and many of the companies behind them will have the chance to pitch to a range of investors at an exclusive event later in the year.

Special awards will be given to the best products with one winner given a ticket to CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

The Consumer Electronics Show (best known as CES) is an annual trade show and attracts innovators from all over the world.