Who Knew There’s Nothing New

Bill Gates wrote an essay titled; Content is King.

In part he said:

“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.

The television revolution…spawned a number of industries, including the manufacturing of TV sets, but the long-term winners were those who used the medium to deliver information and entertainment.”

The above observation probably sounds like a no brainer to you.

You read that little excerpt and it seems so obvious, right? Of course, content is king. Look at YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Multi-billion-dollar industries that pretty much keep us glued to the internet. Not to mention all the streaming services as well.

Here’s an interesting question: do you know when old Billy boy wrote that essay?

January of 1996.

Long before any of the mentioned content platforms were in existence.

Can Bill Gates look into the future?

No. He looked into the past.

We know so because he said, “…just as it was in broadcasting.”

There’s nothing new under the sun. Just new hair-dos on the same old situations. Again, and again, and again.

So, the next time a new opportunity or tech comes your way and you’re wondering what to do with it, just put on your look-back glasses and see what the shape of the situation reminds you of.

Then afterward everyone will hail you as a visionary genius.

Hindsight is wonderful, isn’t it?

– Zac Smith, VC