Early printing and publishing revolutionized the world. In the 50 years since its invention, the number of books increased million fold.
When I first started tracking the print (and publishing) industry, the paper industry was already in trouble.
Johannes Gutenberg was a printer and a publisher. His invention of the movable type, started the printing revolution, and ushered in the modern period of human history – a history that can now be printed easily.
In the 6th century AD, China invented printing, a form of it referred to as block printing. And, this became the basis for modern printing as we know it.
Before the invention of writing, information could only be spread by mouth. This meant severe limitations of place and time – and of course, the proverbial Chinese whisper. While writing eventually became a prerequisite to running successful kingdoms, its original intention was to establish religious decrees, codes of law, and other socially important matters.