Electricity

There was an electricity blackout for several hours in Istanbul yesterday. Reviewing a few news websites the blackout seems to have affected most of Turkey. The exact cause is unconfirmed however some announcements have pointed to a technical problem in energy transmission lines.

I was in back to back meetings when the blackout started so I didn’t feel the impact of the outage until the second meeting ended. My laptop was pretty close to being fully charged at that time.

But I watched my battery gradually drain after starting to respond to emails after the meetings. By the time electricity was restored in Istanbul, my battery had about an hour of power left. This made me nervous as I would have needed to go somewhere with a power generator in order to recharge my battery if electricity hadn’t been restored in time.

As part of the tech sector, I get excited about innovative companies with the potential to become runaway successes. However, times like this remind me that none of these innovative companies would exist if it weren’t for more fundamental enabling innovations like the internet, personal computers, and, if you go back far enough in history, electricity.

For example, email wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for electricity. In fact, during the blackout yesterday I already felt as though I was receiving much less email than usual for that time of day. Perhaps people had already drained the batteries of their laptops and smartphones, or were not using them in order to conserve battery power for emergencies in the off case that the outage developed into an extended blackout.

This experience helped me appreciate the value of electricity as an enabler of our daily lives. I’m glad it came back.