Kevin Kelly looks at what Netscape's IPO has wrought:
Before the Netscape browser illuminated the Web, the Internet did not exist for most people. If it was acknowledged at all, it was mischaracterized as either corporate email (as exciting as a necktie) or a clubhouse for adolescent males (read: pimply nerds). It was hard to use. On the Internet, even dogs had to type. Who wanted to waste time on something so boring?Posted by James Zellmer at August 10, 2005 12:00 AM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
The memories of an early enthusiast like myself can be unreliable, so I recently spent a few weeks reading stacks of old magazines and newspapers. Any promising new invention will have its naysayers, and the bigger the promises, the louder the nays. It's not hard to find smart people saying stupid things about the Internet on the morning of its birth. In late 1994, Time magazine explained why the Internet would never go mainstream: "It was not designed for doing commerce, and it does not gracefully accommodate new arrivals." Newsweek put the doubts more bluntly in a February 1995 headline: "THE INTERNET? BAH!" The article was written by astrophysicist and Net maven Cliff Stoll, who captured the prevailing skepticism of virtual communities and online shopping with one word: "baloney."