Take Your Time But...

Most people I discuss Web sites with are genuinely interested (or engaged) in what they're convinced will eventually pay off in spades. But there are folks I talk to who, after a polite pause, break down and admit they see Web sites as useless (for them, anyway).

Columns From: 11/1/1998 Modern Machine Shop, ,

Most people I discuss Web sites with are genuinely interested (or engaged) in what they're convinced will eventually pay off in spades.

But there are folks I talk to who, after a polite pause, break down and admit they see Web sites as useless (for them, anyway).

Fair enough, I say. After all, it's about putting mass in motion, this Web thing. It's unrealistic to expect everyone to see things the same way at the same time. And it's acceptable (admirable, actually) to not rush into something you're not comfortable with, in favor of protecting the shop's priorities.

I don't necessarily agree with their assessments of the Web, but I do understand the essence of the argument.

So, in the spirit of bipartisanship and support, I present to you quotes from those who have echoed this skepticism for technologies in their times, and still managed to survive.

"While theoretically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming." Lee de Forest, inventor of the rest, inventor of the cathode ray tube, 1926

". . . there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." Ken Olsen, Founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), 1977

"The wireless music box (radio) has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" Associates of David Sarnoff founder of NBC, in response to his urging for investment in the radio, 1920

"This 'telephone'has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." Western Union internal memo, late 1800s

"Who the (heck) wants to hear actors talk?" H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927

"640K (of memory in a computer) ought to be enough for anybody." Bill Gates, 1981

Every industry, project and shop needs skeptics to evaluate and challenge that which is. As long as metal-; working and manufacturing facilities implement applications or tools that improve things at their own pace, we're all stronger for it.

Go ahead and take your time with the Web. And tell everyone who'll listen why you are.

You might be published someday.

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