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15 Things That Happened 15 Years Ago (When Capterra was Just Getting Started)

Published by in Capterra News

15 years ago, the year was 1999. I know this seems pretty obvious (hello, math!) but when you think about what life was like back then, it feels like 1999 is decades older than it actually is.

I think the biggest reason for this is just how much technology has changed since then. We’ve seen huge growth across many different industries, but technology especially has seen exponential growth.

But what’s so special about 1999?

It’s the year Capterra was founded, November 1st to be exact!


Other than our company entering the technology industry, what else happened in 1999? Check out these 15 facts about what life was like 15 years ago. Prepare to be shocked, amazed, and a little nostalgic.

1. By the beginning of 1999, 150 million people around the world used the Internet, and that number grew to 248 million by the end of the year. Currently, there are almost 3 billion Internet users worldwide.

2. Remember when you couldn’t be on the phone and the Internet at the same time? Yep, I’m talking about dial-up. In 1999, dial-up Internet was still mostly used in homes, while schools and businesses used broadband.

3. In the software world, it doesn’t get much bigger than than They entered the market in 1999 as the first software to deliver services over the Internet, aka “The Cloud.” Since then, cloud-based software has been growing in popularity and use.

[sam id=”58″ codes=”true”]

4. Y2K. Everyone was worried in 1999 that once the year 2000 began, the world would basically end! Supposedly “computers would be so confused that they would shut down completely,” because they were programmed to automatically begin dates with “19” instead of “20.”

But of course, nothing horrible happened, the world did not end, and we’re all still laughing at ourselves 15 years later.

5. The world population reached a huge milestone in 1999: 6 billion people! And 15 years later, we’re already at a population of over 7 billion.

World population rise and Earth overcrowding. Digital illustrati

6. Social media was a ways off in 1999. Hard to believe, right? A world without social media? Where would you have shared this blog post?

Facebook was 5 years away (2004), Twitter was 7 years away (2006), LinkedIn was 4 years away from its launch (2003), and Instagram wouldn’t exist for another 11 years (2010).

7. The Blackberry phone was released in early 1999. Since then, it’s gone through new developments and redesigns, but its future is uncertain, with rumors flying that it won’t make it past the 15-year mark.

8. Another product released in 1999 was Bluetooth technology. Unlike the Blackberry, it’s not going anywhere, as 2013 saw them surpass 2.5 billion cumulative Bluetooth product shipments.

9. But missing from our lives in 1999 was the smartphone. While Japan had released its own smartphone that year, most consider the iPhone’s launch as the true beginning of the smartphone craze, which didn’t occur until 2007.

Set of touchscreen smartphones

10. 1999 saw a major world event when the European Union introduced the euro. Countries that adopted the euro in 1999 include Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland.

11. Napster changed the music industry in 1999 when it introduced a way to share and download music without actually paying for any of it. Since this was obviously illegal, the company was sued by the recording industry and the site was shut down in 2001. But their impact can still be felt today through BitTorrent and illicit streaming.

12. What was everyone listening to in 1999? Take a look at which singles were topping the international charts that year:

  1. “…Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears
  2. “Mambo No 5 (A Little Bit of…)” by Lou Bega
  3. “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” by Eiffel 65
  4. “No Scrubs” by TLC
  5. “I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys

13. And what was driving us to the movie theater? Here are the top grossing films in the US in 1999:

  1. The Sixth Sense
  2. Toy Story 2
  3. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
  4. The Matrix
  5. Tarzan

14. Just as technology changes over time, so does a company’s brand image. Check out what some big brands looked like in 1999 and how they’ve changed since:








Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windos




15. And of course, Capterra, a website dedicated to helping businesses find the right software, was founded in 1999. We have a lot to celebrate in reaching the 15-year milestone, including making the Inc. 5000 list seven times since 2007, and helping thousands of businesses every month find software.

What else happened in 1999? Where were you 15 years ago?

Looking for Business Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Business Management software solutions.

About the Author

Caroline Malamut

Caroline Malamut

Caroline is the Vendor Marketing Manager at Capterra. Her love of marketing began while growing up in Philadelphia and has only grown since attending the University of Pittsburgh. In her free time she enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and cheering on her Philly and Pitt sports teams.


Comment by Shelly Warren on

Love this article, been in the tech industry 15 years and I remember all of these changes! I knew Y2K was a farce but I did stock extra water, just in-case… 🙂

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