Technology that enables publishing in a large scale, to mass markets, was innovated by Johannes Gutenberg more than 500 years ago. His greatest innovation was to create a whole system from existing technologies developed by other people. From there on, the evolution of publishing has been as much business development as it has been technology development.
– Newspapers developed in late 18th century and 19th century as literacy improved and people moved to cities.
– Before newspapers, primarily books and religious material was printed.
– Steam powered printing press was invented in 1843. Printing of books and newspapers became faster and more economical, making them available to wider audiences.
– The first steps towards digital technology in publishing industry were taken in 1980s and 1990s when Apple introduced the Macintosh computer and desktop publishing. This combination made it both affordable and reasonably easy to design and layout the printed paper or book on a computer screen before actually printing it.
– The Internet boom in late 1990s and early 2000s introduced the first ebooks to audiences, but digital books weren’t ready for mass markets yet.
– It was Amazon that understood (like Gutenberg) that there must be a whole end-to-end system in place before the product is ready for wide adoption. Amazon introduced the Kindle and Whispersync in 2007.
View more details on the evolution of publishing in the following infographics created by Searchnewsmedia.co.uk.