One of the greatest technological breakthroughs of the past 100 years was the perfection and mass production of the automobile. Although the initial design of a steam-powered “motorized carriage” dates back to the 18th century, it was the invention of the internal combustion engine that allowed the automobile industry to dramatically change our way of life.
One of the things I wanted to cover in my series of articles concerning Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com is the process of creative destruction. Have you ever heard of “creative destruction”? It’s a term that was originally used by an Austrian economist, Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950). Schumpeter described creative destruction as an essential process that takes place in a free-market economy, wiping out entire industries after new technologies are discovered and put into place.