Lesson #5: Revolutionary Ideas are Shown, Not Told

Computer screens once displayed just text.

In the early 80’s, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer would travel around the country delivering seminars about how graphic interfaces were the operating systems of the future – but nobody believed them. Computer companies told the Microsoft boys that graphic interfaces would be too slow and that it would be difficult to write the software for them. Attitudes quickly changed in 1984, when Apple launched the Macintosh. It became the first commercially successful computer with a graphical user interface (GUI).

All of a sudden, it was obvious to everyone that the wave of the future involved windows, icons, menus, and a pointing device. Within a few years, the market was flooded with graphical OS software. Notable examples include Deskmate, Workbench, and – of course – Microsoft Windows. Microsoft was able to release Windows 1.0 in 1985, just a year after the Mac’s success, because they had actually started developing the software two years earlier.