The Internet? Just a fad!

Courtesy of Paleo-Future, here’s an article in Newsweek from 1995 that predicts the Internet has no future of importance. Some selections:

Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic.

Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.

We’re promised instant catalog shopping–just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet–which there isn’t–the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.

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4 Responses to The Internet? Just a fad!

  1. iPC says:

    An online database is already replacing the newspaper, just go to and you’ll see all the stuff you would have had to pay for to see with a newspaper. A CD-ROM will never take place of a competent teacher but it might have to if people stop wanting to be teachers. No computer network will change the government at all, network’s are to insecure.We already have instant catalog shopping, we already just point and click, go to and you can even buy groceries. We already order airline tickets online. You can order pizza and make reservations at a restaurant over the internet now. The mall might make more sales now but most businesses are realizing that the future is int the internet, look at Adobe, you used to have to buy Photoshop but now you can go to a website and use their software for free. You can create ads without the need of salespeople.

  2. nebcanuck says:

    The most essential? Dubious — the most essential is marketing. But even if it’s granted that salespeople are important, what about expenses? Each sale on the Internet is a sale which doesn’t cost $8 an hour for the company. Avoiding wages — commission or static — is always a bigger motivator, particularly if the product is basically guaranteed to be purchased because of advertising anyways!

  3. nebcanuck says:

    Oops. Must confess, I didn’t see the “from 1995” bit. I suppose you were posting this to laugh at the poor vision of the people back then.

    Still, salaries are a major reason why the Internet has boomed since!

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