Shopping in your PJs, 1994
innovation of the last 20 years
Whether you’re in the market for miso ramen flavored ice cream, the hair from your favorite dead celebrity or the latest in steampunk couture, there’s shelf space for even the most eccentric of tastes in that great big virtual store in the cloud we call the Internet.
And finding live Madagascan cockroaches to send to that cheating ex-girlfriend of yours, in just a matter of minutes, wouldn’t be possible, if it wasn’t for IBM US patent No. 5,319,542. This essential invention put the e in e-commerce, by electronically matching what customers are looking to buy with items merchants are looking to sell. It’s hard to imagine a time when computers weren’t our personal grand bazaars for the bizarre. Or just a convenient way to buy books and shoes.