25 years of tracking Enterprise Technology Innovation

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1994 was a momentous year for the tech industry.
Back then, just 5 percent of US households had (dial-up) internet access, 7% of the UK population had a mobile phone, and the World Wide Web was only five years old.

To mark Rhetorik’s 25th anniversary, here are 25 fascinating facts relating to the staggering technological changes seen in our personal and professional lives since Rhetorik was founded. Firstly, a quick reminder of …

What was hot in 1994

Microsoft Windows 3.1
  1. Microsoft releases Windows 3.11.
  2. The Sony PlayStation arrives and changes video games for ever.
  3. IBM introduces the ThinkPad 775CD, the first notebook with integrated CD-ROM.
  4. The smartphone is born – the Simon Personal Communicator, also from IBM, was the first PDA to include telephony features but the battery lasts just 1 hour.
  5. Marketing expert
    Simon Personal Communicator

    Drayton Bird publishes 10 predictions for the future of direct marketing, including:

    • Direct marketing will become pervasive. Check
    • Marketers will realise all customers are not created equal – and act accordingly. Check
    • Direct marketers will think more about quality and less about quantity. Getting there …. maybe.


With 25 years of Moore’s Law and the technological revolution at work, the impact has been considerable …..

Then and Now

  1. Global IT spending has grown 800% from $455 billion[1] in 1994 to £3.7 trillion[2]
  2. PCs are now 50% cheaper and 1,000x more powerful.
  3. Just 28% of enterprise IT spending is now controlled by the IT department[3].
  4. Clouds used to be just that, and all IT infrastructure was located on-premises. Now, the average company utilises 29 different cloud solutions[4].
  5. Artificial intelligence was barely known outside of university research labs. Now, it is estimated that 37% of companies are implementing AI in some form[5].

When Rhetorik launched in 1994, we were in great company ….

Business Firsts 1994

  1. Yahoo! is founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994.
  2. Netscape is founded by Marc Andreessen and James Clark on 4 April.
  3. Amazon.com domain is registered on 1 November.
  4. Red Hat Linux is founded
  5. Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), an independent nonprofit research center is founded to focus public attention on emerging privacy issues.

We were not alone when it came to business innovation either ….

Industry Firsts 1994

  1. Banking: October 1994 sees Stanford Federal Credit Union become the first financial institution to offer online internet banking services to all of its customers.
  2. Media: The Daily Telegraph becomes the first UK newspaper to launch a news website.
  3. electronic Telegraph

    Manufacturing: The first QR code – the QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is invented in Japan by Denso Wave[11] to track vehicles during manufacturing.

  4. E-commerce: NetMarket lays claim to the first secure online retail transaction on 11 August – a copy of the Sting CD Ten Summoner’s Tales for $12.48 plus postage.
  5. Technology: Vice President Al Gore coins the term “Information Superhighway”.

And last but by no means least, Rhetorik launched on a wave of marketing innovation ….

Marketing Firsts 1994:

  1. The first banner ad[6]– on 27 October 1994, Hotwired sells the first banner ad to AT&T and begins running the first Internet banner ad campaign.
  2. The first cookie[7] – Version 0.9 of Mosaic Netscape was released on October 13, 1994 and was the first browser to support cookies
  3. The first search engine[8] – WebCrawler, the first full-text web search engine is launched.
  4. The first blog[9] – Justin Hall starts a web-based diary called Justin’s Links from the Underground. The term “blog” itself doesn’t appear until 1999.
  5. The first commercial spam[10] – the “Green Card” spam, sent by husband-and-wife lawyers Laurence A. and Martha S. Siegel, is the first commercial spam.

Click here to learn how Rhetorik can help you innovate in B2B technology marketing.

What other events from 1994 would you include in your list? What do you think the next 25 years are going to bring?

Whatever it is, Rhetorik will be here to track it all the way.

[1] Source: OECD
[2] Source: Gartner (October 2018)
[3] Source: PWC Digital IQ Report
[4] Source: Forbes
[5] Source: Gartner CIO Agenda survey
[6] Source: The Drum
[7] Source: Wikipedia
[8] http://www.searchenginehistory.com/
[9] Web Designer Depot
[10] Source: Internet Society
[11] Source: Wikipedia

Meet The Author

Kevin Savage

Former VP of Sales & Marketing at Yankee Group with research expertise for the technology sector Previously: Successfully growing new data and analytics markets for CEB/Gartner as well as Communispace, Jupiter Research, Forrester Research.

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