Tuesday, February 17, 2009

30 Important Innovations from the Last 30 Years

To celebrate their three decades on the air, PBS’ Nightly Business Report teamed up with Knowledge@Wharton, the online research and business analysis journal of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, to select the 30 most important innovations from the last 30 years. The results are in, and the Internet reigns supreme.

The complete results:

Innovation Industry

30. Anti retroviral treatment for AIDS Health Care
29. SRAM flash memory Electronics
28. Stents Health
27. ATMs Finance
26. Bar codes and scanners Retail
25. Bio fuels Biotechnology
24. Genetically modified plants Biotechnology
23. RFID and applications (e.g.EZpass) Electronics
22. Digital photography/videography Electronic
21. Graphic user interface (GUI) Computer Science
20. Social networking via internet Media
19. Large scale wind turbines Energy
18. Photovoltaic Solar Energy Energy
17. Microfinance Finance
16. Media file compression (e.g., jpeg, mpeg, mp3) Computer Science
15. Online shopping/ecommerce/auctions (e.g., eBay) Information Technology
14. GPS Systems Electronics
13. Liquid Crystal Displays Electronics
12. Light emitting diodes (first real devices in
1960s; in products in mid-70s) Electronics
11. Open source software and services (e.g., Linux, Wikipedia) Media
10. Non-invasive laser/robotic surgery (laparoscopy) Health Care
9. Office software (Spreadsheets, word processors) Computer Science
8. Fiber optics Telecommunications
7. Microprocessors Computer Science
6. Magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) Biotechnology
5. DNA testing and sequencing/Human genome mapping Biotechnology
4. E mail Computer Science
3. Mobile phones Telecommunications
2. PC/laptop computers Computer Science
1. Internet/broadband/WWW (browser andHTML) Telecommunications

To compile this list, thousands of nominees were submitted by Nightly Business Report viewers. The finalists were then judged according to seven different criteria determined by senior Wharton School faculty who served as judges:

1. Did it have a direct and/or material effect on quality of life?
2. Did it address a compelling need? Did it solve a compelling problem?
3. Was it a fresh, new breakthrough? Was there a "WOW" factor?
4. Did it change the way business is conducted?
5. Did it increase the efficiency of how resources are used?
6. Did it spark an ongoing stream of new innovations on top of the original innovation?
7. Did it lead to the creation of a vast, new industry?


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Dr. Cindy Gordon said...

Thanks Gale for the perspectives. We will check into this lead. Thanks

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