Wednesday, October 19, 1994 by Dave Winer.
Predictably, I've gotten a lot of mail on the Bill Gates vs The Internet piece that went out late Sunday night.
I really hope we hear from Microsoft about this stuff before the cursor moves off Marvel and onto something else.
Here are comments from Yogen Dalal, Dave Carlick, Gary Pearce, Jim Louderback, Tom Mandel, Marc Canter, Amy Wohl and Roger McNamee.
Yogen Dalal, Mayfield Ventures, YDALAL@MAYFIELD.COM
As one of the original developers of TCP I am delighted the Internet has taken off and I agree there is a rebellious spirit that is wonderful, refreshing and healthy.
I've known the internauts for many years and they are doing what they love. They are free spirits and are rebelling against whatever they want to, but certainly not the "greedy VCs" who made Mitch Kapor rich and are now creating other scams in the software business.
Dave Carlick, Poppe Tyson (ad agency), DSC@SV.POPPE.COM
Companies cannot afford to develop massive content for every on-line authoring/browsing standard. I believe that an open standard should prevail over proprietary (e.g. AOL, Prodigy, Compuserve) authoring and browsing systems.
Mosaic's http/html/browser is the one we're developing for.
Gates is making, I hear, happy http/html noises. Is he going to support this standard, and accelerate the acceptance of online and simplify lives for users and content developers? Or is this an OS/2 headfake while he strives to make some on-line aspect of Windows95 the most popular (and hence, standard) approach?
BTW, you can download the newest Mosaic Inc. browser for Unix, Apple, or Windows, which is a wonderful improvement, from their homepage at http://mosaic.mcom.com.
Gary Pearce, Steam Radio, UK0001@APPLELINK.APPLE.COM
On the Internet people speak in the same way they would in a bar. On other online services they seem to adopt the language of business, which in general tends to be insincere. Sincerity is most people's natural state, the one in which they feel comfortable. Ergo they will choose to surf with their peers rather than their business associates.
Jim Louderback, PC WEEK, 495-3159@MCI.COM
Since I'm at the second annual WWW conference in Chicago, I'm afraid that I can't disagree with you.
New services must offer community, some way for their users to identify with each other as more than just an Internet floater.
Pipeline understands this very well, and AOL is trying to make a community out of 1mm teenagers. Unfortunately for Bill Gates, users of Microsoft products will probably not be a good enough community for Marvel to be successful. After all, who wants to identify with their bank?
Tom Mandel, email@example.com
Apple doesn't need any help from Bill Gates to bring it to its knees; it regularly manages to do that by itself.
Marc Canter, Canter Technology, D0010@APPLELINK.APPLE.COM
It doesn't take much to combine a PIM, check balancing, stupid-user front-end software, an online service, banks, utilities, fulfillment agencies, credit stuff.
For the first time MS has takem the leadership that everyone is gonna copy. Wait till US West, MCI and Citibank get ahold of this. Prodigy, Nynex and First Boston. AOL, Dave Kleinberg and B of A.
Nobody is gonna sit by and watch MS take over. The Telcos are gonna finally jump in, now that they know how to do it.
Amy Wohl, 499-0884@MCI.COM
Don't misjudge Bill Gates. Of all the entrepreneurs I've ever observed, he comes closest to breaking the rules. He's better at reinventing himself and his company and looking at new businesses. I suspect he just won't be good at giving up enough control and that (not the inability to do it again or find the next new thing) will be what does him in. Do it again, in this case, means find and start a new business, burying the old ones in the process, if necessary.
I'm not sure he'd throw out NT if it turned out that OS/2 or Macintosh Version X beat him to hell in the market and he had a chance to buy and own the new OS. Maybe it depends not just how compelling the vision is, but how close to the heart it sits.
Doug Michels, Santa Cruz Operation, DOUG@SCO.COM
I did indeed chuckle. The big question is how to bet on the Internet winning? [DW to DM: I think Bill would say "short my stock." Just a guess.]
Roger McNamee, Kleiner (venture capital) 358-8080@MCI.COM
Is the Internet a business? No one has control. There are very few rules and most of those are to restrict business activity. What does it mean if the Internet remains a social rather than a business environment? [DW to RM: It is not a business. No one has control. And there's no one for billg to buy! What a platform. It seems FUD-proof.]
My apologies to the VCs. I write these things *very* quickly. That's the secret. And I've made a few wrong calls in my day too! ;->
I'm learning a lot from this online essay service. I'm not sure exactly what it leads to, but I have some ideas. It seems most like being the sysop of a BBS or CompuServe forum, both of which I've done before.
So far, there have only been three requests to be taken off the list. One was from firstname.lastname@example.org -- PC WEEK's mailbox for Spencer F. Katt. It turns out this box is really a group address, so the mail was going to countless random desktops at Ziff. One person requested that skatt be removed, so I did it. I figure it's better to err on the side of being demure and non-assuming. That's my real character! (Sure...)
Finally, I want to get a plug in for Adam Engst's weekly on-line newsletter for Macintosh Internetters. It's called TidBITS and it's unbelievably excellent, has been around for years and years, and it's free. I'm following in Adam's footsteps here. You can subscribe to TidBITS by sending email to email@example.com.
In the meantime, I hope you're having fun!
PS: I still am not getting any programming done! (But I did do a reallllly neat mock press conference last night with Gregg Zachary's UC-Berkeley journalism class.)
PSS: Another definition of fear: "breathless excitement."
PSSS: Have a nice day, dammit!
PSSSS: As always, if you aren't interested in this kind of stuff, send an email and I'll happily delete your name from the list. And it's OK to forward it anywhere you like. The list is expanding -- I'm always happy to add new names.