This One Trade Changed 400 Years of History in Just Four Hours

This One Trade Changed 400 Years of History in Just Four Hours by Justin Spittler – Casey Research

Justin’s note: Today, we’re handing the Dispatch over to our good friend Teeka Tiwari—former fund manager and the youngest VP ever at Shearson Lehman.

By Teeka Tiwari, editor, The Palm Beach Letter

On a cold and rainy day in October of 1971, Ray Tomlinson sent the first ever email.

At the time, he didn’t think much of it. Nobody told him to do it… He just thought it was neat.

Tomlinson was a programmer working on a secret government project called ARPANET… a network of computers that could “talk” to one another.

It took two years before people realized just how powerful Tomlinson’s invention was. By then, email had gone from virtually nothing to 75% of all ARPANET traffic.

Today, 2.5 million emails per second are sent on ARPANET’s successor – the internet.

More than four decades after Tomlinson’s invention, email is still the single most used application on the internet. It was crucial to the growth of the web.

In the early days of the internet, email was the primary draw for users. There was no YouTube, Google, or iTunes Store.

Email birthed some of the earliest internet success stories… Pioneering online service providers like Prodigy, CompuServe, and America Online were all built on providing convenient email access.

Email has been called a disruptive technology… Its use is so widespread that it’s putting the U.S. Postal Service out of business… Email has contributed to a 35% drop in first-class mail over the past decade.

Early investors in email support technology got rich, turning tiny investments into millions and millions of dollars today.

It’s easy for us to dream of what it would have been like to make that sort of fortune from an investment. If we had the right information back in the 1980s and 1990s, would we have invested? Would we have committed those dollars?

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