Wednesday, January 12, 2000

New rules for the New Economy

Letter from a father to a daughter born in the Information Age: taking her through the paces of wealth creation even as he finds his own.
Gautam Chikermane

Meera, my dearest,
As the world celebrates the last year of the 1900s, you will turn three. You already know Papa goes to work in the morning, plays with his computer, gets his friends to play on their computers, and comes back in the evening. And that Ma goes to her office in the study, sits in front of her PC, hammers a few keys on that keyboard -- the PC squeaks and groans and hisses -- to reach her e-mail box. There's something she calls a "mouse" that she clicks and depending on what's on the screen, smiles or frowns. You already know all that.
What you probably don't know is that less than 10 years ago, when we started working, when there was no question of you bringing us the joy you have, when web meant the skin between the toes of a duck, the computer was not as ubiquitous as it appears to you. It was a rare commodity, and I for one would be completely lost just looking at it. As a journalist, of course, I had to learn to type, and instead of typing on the typewriter -- yes, they weren't the antiques you will buy when you turn 20 -- I typed on the keyboard. Spreadsheets and databases came later, and then came the browsers, the most important revolution after the invention of the personal computer.
Story in Outlook Money