It was just another day

Days that change your life come in three forms. There are those days that everybody will ‘remember where they were when…’ the day that Princess Diana was tragically killed, September 11th or the day that England beat Germany 5-1.

There are the days that you will always remember because they are so personally important; the day you graduated from Uni, the day you got married or the day a child was born. Then there are days like 29th June 2007, which was just like any other day (for me at least) but would radically change virtually every part of my life.

The 29th June 2007 was the day that Apple started selling the iPhone. If you had told me then that in less than ten years my ‘phone’ would become like a third hand I would have laughed. At the time, I could not conceive of a world where everything was literally at my fingertips. Do you remember when we used to joke that ‘there must be an app for that.’ We cannot joke about that now, because there is an app for virtually everything.

When I did finally get one, I could not see how this was going to change my life. Here I had a device called an iPhone, which did many cool things but was the worst phone ever produced and oddly did not do obvious things like ‘copy and paste’. I would have loved to be part of that scrum where they were faced with ‘copy and paste’ or maps, and maps won! Up to that point, the A-Z had worked just fine.

Regardless of the type, these life-changing days come along rarely enough but I cannot think of another one (in my life at least) which has changed both my personal AND my professional life. From about the turn of the millennium, every year was the ‘year of mobile’ and by implication, the year that email died. So when the iPhone was released, everybody thought that the end of email was nigh. What we did not realise at the time was that smartphones would radically change both what was possible for marketers AND what was expected by consumers.

In fact, smartphones would revitalise the email channel and make it more relevant. The iPhone did usher in the era of the mobile but instead of being an email killer, it turned out that the smartphone was the perfect platform for email. It turned out that mobile was a device, not a channel. It turned out that email done well – delivering the right message to the right person at the right time was exactly what consumers wanted from communications in their pocket.

All too often we take the people and things closest to us for granted, so on this day I offer a toast to my iPhone and say thank you for quietly changing the world.

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