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From: Dave Long (
Date: Fri Jan 12 2001 - 10:42:41 PST

> What is necessary to achieve global customer adoption? According to this
> guy, it is more complicated technology and interfaces that are specific
> to each application. Personally, I think it will be the general
> availability of cheap electricity, satisfaction of more basic needs
> (like food, liberty, and peace), and, finally, simpler interfaces.

... and it's difficult to beat other wetware for
simplicity of interface. Say "I'd like FOO", and
let them deal with the DWI[WMN].

> Right now there's no company out there that can ease the burden of the
> time and money needed to support a service. That will have to change.

I realize Adam was talking about the technical side
of service support here, but I think most services
run into bottlenecks more as a matter of the amount
the amount of wetware one can throw at them than by
the amount of hardware.

I've worked at "high tech" companies that were really
(by mirror fogging count) phone answering services,
and Tom gave us an example of Tom Sawyering support
(again, a high-wetware low-hardware solution), but
sometimes, as explained below, one can even get users
to tie themselves up with the tar baby.

> Commercial companies are in even more trouble with support, because they
> really *HAVE* to have a good support service, otherwise what did the users
> pay the $$$ for in the first place?

It depends upon how much they paid. At $50, they'll
have those high service expectations, but at $500k,
users will gladly spend an engineer or two to figure
out just what was on that tape that showed up along
with the invoice. Oddly enough, this pattern doesn't
seem to translate to online behavior:

> One of the best uses of the internet is having customers do work that
> clerks used to do.

or maybe it does?

> ... it's only those with high-speed connections and years of
> familiarity with the internet that purchase stuff online. People like my
> mom and dad, who have adopted the internet in that they (mostly he) send
> email, don't do online shopping yet.

How many of those high-speed connections and years
of familiarity belong to people who, due to being
tied to their desk or cube farm, don't get much of
an opportunity to do offline shopping?


> While some within the company continue to
> bank on the future of shrink-wrapped applications, others believe
> hosted applications, "rented" via a subscription licensing model, are
> poised to take over the world sooner, rather than later.

Sooner, as shown by big blue. Was it the consent
decree or the antitrust case that introduced the
concept of buying, rather than renting, apps? Any
comments from FoRKers who were around at the time?

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