Thursday, September 15, 2005


Quote of Note: Hossein Eslambolchi

"To me Skype is like a toy."

Hossein Eslambolchi, AT&T's CTO and CIO, and AT&T Fellow, to a packed house at Harvard yesterday.

Disruptive technologies always appear to incumbents as toys.

The use of the T-word reminded me of then-CEO Bob Allen's 1995 speech almost exactly ten years ago, on September 12, 1995, where he said,
". . . we have all spent a lot of money in trials and experiments trying to force the technology into the minds of the consumers. Until we find applications that are easy to use, affordable, make people's lives easier and prove their bottom line, online services are merely going to be toys. But . . . we are beginning to get it right, and . . . [they] will be a big part of people's lives one day."
[I was in the audience. My memory was that he said, "Until . . . the Internet will be a toy . . . " But a paper transcript, obtained years later, says " . . . online services . . . ", and that's what I documented above and in SMART Letter #25.]

David Weinberger blogged a nice set of rough notes of Hossein Eslambolchi's talk.

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