In today already walks tomorrow

It was Dan Quisenberry who famously said, “I have seen the future. It looks like the past, only longer.” I hate to quarrel with the ace relief pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, whose submarine-style delivery dominated the 1980s, but the future is getting shorter all the time.

Fifteen years ago, when I was working with Don Tapscott on the best-seller The Digital Economy, Don said the most important message in the book was for people to get on the Internet. Now, the web is ubiquitous.

Ten years ago, Research in Motion – the subject of my next book – went public. The Waterloo-based maker of the BlackBerry had 198 employees. Now, RIM has 8,400 employees, 5,800 of whom work in Waterloo. The company’s market cap is $80 billion, making it Canada’s biggest company.

Five years ago I signed up for my first Google Alert, which today brought me the news that my book about Edgar Bronfman Jr., The Icarus Factor, had been mentioned in yesterday’s issue (or was it tomorrow’s?) of The Nation, published in Bangkok, Thailand. I didn’t have to do a thing, the information just showed up.

Quiz was wrong. Another sports figure, Washington Redskins coach George Allen, had it right when he said,”The future is now.”

There is no longer any today, just a smatter of nostalgia and whatever happens next.

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