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The Year of the Tech Bloom

In 2003, peer-to-peer programs following Napster were breaking digital boundaries, Wikipedia had just been born and Wi-fi still needed quotation marks to represent that it was new slang.

The Tech Bloom was in 'full flower' and, as Alex wrote for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that same year, it was only the beginning.

All this only skims the inbox of what's going on. There are so many new projects that a friend who reports on technology says "keeping up right now is like trying to see the entire Louvre in a day."
Welcome to the Tech Bloom.
The conventional wisdom, during the Tech Boom, was that what drove innovation was the lure of giant piles of cash. That idea now rubs shoulders with the Berlin Wall. What makes creative people tingle are interesting problems, the chance to impress their friends and caffeine. Freed from the pursuit of paper millions, geeks are doing what geeks, by nature, really want to be doing: making cool stuff.
Not just making it, but giving it away. Saying the Tech Bloom is not commercially driven is like saying Mother Teresa had an interest in the poor.

The Tech Bloom was written by Alex Steffen in November of 2003 for the Seattle Post-Intellegencer. We're posting this piece is a part of our month long retrospective leading up to our anniversary on Oct. 1. For the next four weeks, we'll celebrate five years of solutions-based, forward-thinking and innovative journalism by publishing the best of the Worldchanging archives.

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