The past was not the past you imagine

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This is a fun observation. I’ve heard some people say this in podcasts, when talking about the past:

“In 2008 the internet didn’t exist”

“No one was using Facebook in 2012”

“it in the past, as everybody knows, it was way easier to have success on the Apple App Store”

“nowadays you don’t just create a product and have success, you need a lot of marketing”

and other things along those lines.

I searched a bit for a term that describes this concept and I couldn’t find it. Perhaps “the historian’s fallacy” is close:

The historian’s fallacy is an informal fallacy that occurs when one assumes that decision makers of the past viewed events from the same perspective and having the same information as those subsequently analyzing the decision.

but I’m not sure if that’s the same thing.

When I hear someone say something like that, I think that it’s just not true.

Selling an app on the App Store has NEVER been easy. Today it’s as hard as it was in 2012.

There has never been a time when you had success just by building a product without marketing.

In 2008 the Internet was not as it’s now perhaps, but we were not aware of it.

In 2030 those same people will go around saying

How could we have success in 2021? No one was on the Internet

In 2021 it was so easy to launch a product and have success with it without any marketing

I wish we had the same organic reach the App Store had in 2021

No one was using TikTok in 2021

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