Business in the 1920s compared to predicted entrepreneurship in 2020 could not be more different. Both eras focused on new technology, but are divided by 67 instances of Moore’s Law, which says the number of transistors that can be fit on a computer chip will double every 18 months, resulting in periodic increases in computing power.
Granted, there were no computers in 1920, but Bob Bemer was born in Sault Ste. Marie. He became the father of the ASCII character code and grandfather of the Common Business Oriented Language, or COBOL, the second-oldest high-level programming language still in use by many businesses and governments.
Let’s compare some of the technological innovations made 100 years apart.
Thirty-seven car companies were formed in 1920, including five in Michigan: Apex Motor Car Co. in Ypsilanti, Friend Motor Corp. in Pontiac, Hoskins in Detroit, Lorraine, also in Detroit, and Rugby – a Durant Motor Co. offshoot – made in Lansing. (Wikipedia)
Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota and other major automakers plan to begin offering self-driving cars to the public in 2020. (Emerj)
All Metal Products Co. was founded in 1920 and based in Wyandotte, Michigan, producing pressed-metal toys under the Wyandotte brand name, and was the largest manufacturer of toy guns in the U.S. for several decades in the 20th century. (Ranker)
XR tech, a code name describing the intersection of augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality, is expected to substantively shift consumer behavior, both in gaming and in business. (Consumer Technology)
In 1927, Dorothy Gerber of Fremont, Michigan, started straining solid foods for her 7-month-old daughter Sally. She and husband Dan decided the work could be easily done at their canning business, and Gerber baby food was born. (Gerber)
Plant-based hamburger patties are already all the rave, with Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods dominating the market, which is expected to expand to other food items, including fishless fish, in 2020 (Partstown)
Called “the best kitchen aid” by an executive’s wife, the KitchenAid stand mixer was on the market for just one year in 1920, offering attachments that did everything from slicing to straining. (KitchenAid)
UNOX Data Driven Cooking equipment allows restaurateurs to track everything, water usage, energy consumption, cooking times and equipment use all from a smartphone. (Partstown)
In 1929, Alex Manoogian founded Masco Screw Products Co. in Detroit, machining parts for the automotive industry. (Masco)
The latest innovations in the automotive industry are driven by 3D printing, so much so that the market is expected to reach $1.56 billion by 2020. (Fisher Unitech)
Faygo first came onto the soft drink scene in the 1900s, when two Russian immigrants, the Feighenson brothers, started making grape, strawberry and fruit punch-flavored sodas in Detroit. By the 1920s, they changed the name of their company to Faygo. (Faygo)
Cannabidiol – or CBD – is everywhere. CBD-infused drinks are gaining momentum in the form of sparkling waters, coffees, teas, energy drinks, beer, wine and mixed alcohol beverages. That growth will continue in the new decade. (Special Events)