January 28, 2013 AT 9:00 am

The private drone industry is like Apple in 1984

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The private drone industry is like Apple in 1984 @ Quartz.

“We’re past the Apple II, and we’re kind of closing in on the Mac,” Anderson says. The reference is to the early days of PC development—the Apple II was one of the first mass-produced personal computers in 1977, while the Mac became the company’s long-running gold standard PC when it was introduced seven years later. The Apple I, like Anderson’s early drones, was a garage product.

As the technology becomes easier to use and more effective, more people will see how useful they are and want them in their professional capacities, just as with other nascent tech products like smartphones and tablets. Cultural adoption can be just as important as business adoption, and the company that has the largest consumer marketshare will also have the most manufacturing experience and developed product.

That’s how we’ll get from the Phantom to aerial food delivery—or at least useful drones.

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