1927: AT&T begins trans-Atlantic telephone service, initially between the United States and London. The conversations cross the Atlantic via radio. The initial capacity is one call at a time at a cost of $75 for the first three minutes.
Interesting story, but I'm not sure it was so cut and dried as this. The real advantage of the current entrepreneur environment is that a lone developer or two can go a long way in product development and even release early versions with minimal investment. The equivalent of your effort could happen now without the need for investors, and early versions could be released on the Internet where it would garner feedback (just try to stop people from commenting!). It can lead to constant tinkering, though, to the point that the product never gets declared as finished.
The flip side of that is that is that developers will maintain control longer. Will that lead to blatently bad business decisions? That has always been the value proposition given by the Shark Tank crowd. We could be about to test that assumption...
@LarryM99 You're right, the circumstances were more complex, but the essence is correct. In thirty years there have been some great improvements in product development. Part of that improvement is the Internet.
The key in any current development is quickly estanblishing an understandoing of what can constitute a minimal functional "product." Tinkering is always a prospective problem, and the new environment does nothing to control this problem.
I agree that we'll get to test the Shark Tank theory. As for me, I believe that we have no reason to expect any better performance by current entrepreneurs than the last 40 years of VC experieince. So, I don't expect immediate changes in any direction, but there are reasons to expect a steady, slow improvement in solopreneurs business decision making skills. The down side of the emphasis on entrepreneurship lies with traditional businbess schools and classes teaching the old skills with a shiny new veneer of new words.