[thelist] how the mighty have fallen

Ben Henick persist1_pdx at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 21 03:52:39 CST 2000

Pardon my opinions...

--- John Scoot <john.scoot at virgin.net> wrote:
> Whilst you are gloating over the demise of some of the big name dot
> coms, consider the fact that their huge budget advertising sprees
> raised the profile of the web among the general public and, as a
> result, WE all get more business.

That's been my hope.  However, one of the things that still haven't
been worked out by clients is how to best (bsgenerator alert) leverage
the Web's strengths into something that creates either revenue or

We're still in the infant stages of a new medium, folks... note that TV
production borrowed techniques heavily from radio for the first ten or
fifteen years of its mass-market existence (to say nothing of the ten
years of usage that preceded that stage).  We can expect (because of
the rate of information growth, and the innate strengths of the
Internet) that it won't take the Web quite as long to morph completely
into its own medium...

While it's true that the Web has been unto itself as an "item" for
fully seven years, the lack of common standards and the lack of sincere
high-level involvement puts the Web at the same stage TV was at in 1948
or '49.  It is only now with this shakeup that the Web shows signs of
gowing fins into feet and flopping onto the beach.

> Since the dot coms started falling over, I have lost at least two
> medium size companies who have decided not to bother putting up sites
> 'because the Internet doesn't work anymore'.

Those companies will pay dearly for their shortsightedness.  I agree
that schadenfreude hardly begins to make up for lost revenue... for the
rest, reference my previous comments.

> Consider also all the Developers put out of work in the run up to
> Xmas - I see no reason to gloat over others misfortune.

While pathetic, the bloodletting was inevitable given the tulip-craze
conditions.  Further it makes perfect sense that it should occur at the
end of the calendar year, given the nature of tax codes.  I'd think
that practically everyone in this industry who's intended to "stick
with it" in lieu of getting-rich-quick has understood for two years if
not three that this was going to happen.

What *is* regrettable is the fear that's been spawned in the economy in
general as a result of the conditions.

When I read the newspaper and the online headlines, a chorus attains
crescendo in the back of my mind:

"Baaaaa... baaaaa... baaaaa..."

Greed started it, and greed is finishing it.  What is worrisome is the
collateral damage - how many relatively-innocent developers have been
taken to the cleaners as a result?

The silver lining is to be found in the fact that "necessity is the
mother of invention."  These may not be salad days, but it *is* the
perfect time for those of us who really give a damn to roll up our
sleeves and get to work on ideas (not business plans) that will change
this medium into something that is commercially viable as a matter of
common sense.

I give heartfelt thanks to those of you who are still reading...

Ben Henick              |  "In the long run, men hit only
Web Author At-Large     |  what they aim at.  Therefore,
www.io.com/persist1/    |  though they should fail
persist1 at io.com         |  immediately, they had better aim
persist1_pdx at yahoo.com  |  high."  --Henry David Thoreau

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