I recently got sucked in to the documentary miniseries “The 2000s” on Netflix. Maybe you’ve seen it or one of its siblings, “The 90s” or “The 80s.” The shows highlight the big talkers of each decade—from politics to pop culture.

In “The 2000s” I found myself chuckling and reminiscing during the technology-focused episode.

I remember getting my first flip cell phone when I started driving and later receiving my first text message. I remember getting an iPod for Christmas in 2004, right after it came out. I remember logging on to Facebook for the first time as a student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Isn’t it incredible what can happen in 20 years? Sometimes when I look back at how far we’ve come with technology, I often wonder… How did we function without cell phones? How did we get the word out about events, news, or causes without social media? How in the world did we run on treadmills with portable CD players?

While new tech trends are announced every day, there are parts of our region that still don’t have access to high speed internet—and it’s crippling their business environments. We are taking an in-depth look at the efforts being made in three counties to fix that so that local businesses can stay here… and new businesses might settle here. Also in this technology-themed issue, you’ll learn more about the Lynchburg-based Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Inc. and their commitment to Central Virginia Community College’s STEM Academy. Look for other tech-related topics throughout this magazine.

We’re also thrilled to showcase this year’s 2019 Best Of Business winners—nominated and voted into their ranks through our readers’ choice contest.

From business lunches to insurance partners to law firms, flip through to see who readers believe are the best in more than 70 categories.
For those of you who still can’t get your computer to connect to your wireless printer or keep forgetting how to take a screenshot on your Mac, don’t fret. True, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest technology in your line of work. But that’s only a piece of the puzzle.

Actually, according to the great tech innovator Steve Jobs, it’s not a piece of the puzzle at all: “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”

Have faith in your supervisors, your colleagues and your economic development leaders, not your gadgets. Because in a few years we’ll probably be flying around in hands-free cars, chuckling about those old smartphones we used to use back in 2019.