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Re: e$: Mandarins, Lifers, and Talents
one point to add to the discussion of pioneers, "evangelists" and
"prophets" in this thread:
1. they were all ahead of the curve --yes, they were visionaries.
almost all were pushed aside as it became a "business."
2. most were pioneers: a specific example is Bob Norris who walked
out of a Fairchild board meeting being being rejected for his
eighth try at replacing Germanium because the first seven had
failed. A couple of VCs, among them Arthur Rock and Bob Perring
said: "...we believe you, let's try silicon..." and we have Intel.
But, who drives Intel today? --Grove, who is labelled as the
founder. Grove made the _business_ -the brains have been
forgotten. Norris was the darling of the VCs for a couple years
until they figured he couldn't spot a _financial_ success.
This same scenario was repeated at Apple, and hundreds of others. Grove
was an exception to the rule that the startup management, quite often
including developers, is replaced by plain vanilla suits. Why even the
evangalistic and prophetical developers? --because they don't deviate
from their vision to comply with the soley profit oriented modes of the
I look at it this way: our nation runs on _money_, whether we like it or
not (I don't). Money for the sake of money is evil money as it gives
nothing in return, particularly when everything is to be produced as
cheaply as possible for more profit to the money folks.
Reminds of two excellent quotes from John Ruskin:
"He who buys for price alone is this man's lawful prey."
"The price of oats is significantly lower after processing by the horse."
I write code because I enjoy it -even it is addictive.
On Thu, 16 Nov 1995, Robert Hettinga wrote:
> >It really did not happen because of cheerleaders. This is a recurring
> >belief of mine, notably in my occasional interactions with the nanotech
> >community, as a few members of this list can attest to. The "Rah, Rah"s--no
> >pun intended--play a minor role in adoption of new products and
> Tim, you can't tell me that there weren't people who were just plain fired
> up about the prospects for any really serious technology. Where are you
> living, the Gernsbeck Continuum? Tim, those "cheerleaders" are the ones who
> either get fired up to do something themselves, or if they can't, they get
> people either fired up to buy stuff, or fired up to build stuff. Howard
> Hughes was one. Hell, the Wright brothers were. So are you, Tim, only your
> passion is strong crypto and cryptoanarchy. Mine is this geodesic market
> >One argument I am never persuaded by is the hackerish "Feh." (Does anybody
> >but hackers use this strange word?)
> Ah. Well, Tim, "Feh" is yiddish, actually. Just like "hacker" comes from
> electric trains. If you don't believe me on *that* one, ask Mr. Levy, who
> knows all about the MIT Model Railroading Club...
> >In any case, I'm not interested in "doing better than that." My support for
> >Chaumian e-cash goes back to 1987. As to why I didn't sign up for Magic
> >Money, or E-Purse, of Digibux, or whatever, well, I'm not a merchant. Just
> >as one could study flight, to use Bob's example, without operating a
> >passenger service or a flying school, so one can be interested in digital
> >cash without "opening an account."
> Right on, Tim. Just don't rain on my parade, or anyone else who's trying to
> make something happen, for that matter.
> >Ah, but I never claimed otherwise (perhaps this is what you mean by "your
> >nonexistant point"). My point was only that digital cash will happen mostly
> >when it fills a need, or is accepted by customers, not by cheerleading and
> >by urging people on this list to be pioneers.
> Cart before the horse, Tim. Most of the new people (say, for 2 years at
> least) on this list *are* pioneers. I've got 600 people over on www-buyinfo
> who are there primarily because 90% (!) of the traffic on it is my
> e$-filtered cross-posts from cypherpunks, and I don't know how many are
> over here because they like their whiskey neat. Those people are so fired
> up, they will find a need, or *create* one, if they have to.
> >The theories about mandarins, lifers, and talents I'll discuss at another
> >time, maybe. All I'll say is that I think it's too simple a categorization.
> >Maybe it's a Boston viewpoint.
> Damn Yankees. Born in El Paso, myself, by way of St. Thomas, Las Cruces,
> Corpus Christi, El Paso, Anchorage, St. Louis, Mid-MO, Chicago, and yes,
> Boston. Never knew I was one until you told me...
> >The folks I've worked with over the years
> >bear almost no resemblance to any of these categories.
> Typical Mandarin response. ;-). (just pulling your leg, Tim. Put the Glock
> >In any case, people
> >will start using digital cash if and when it fulfills some need, or some
> >need they never knew they had, gets stimulated.
> >On a personal note--which is weird, since 1000 or more people may be
> >reading this message, though most probably haven't read this far--I think
> >it best not to get too emotionally attached to some particular outcome in
> >the introduction of a new technology.
> I bet they are, but I'm not attached to Mark Twain or even Digicash per se.
> It just seems to me, that if you want to get involved in this flying stuff,
> here's a plane that flies, even if its elevators are stuck on the front.
> Learn to fly now, and be able to fly the new stuff as it becomes available.
> If you want to fly, that is. Some people then couldn't help it. They *had*
> to do it. That's what's happening here, Tim.
> >I've seen many "prophets" wailing to the world that their
> >visions _deserve_ success.
> Not here Tim. I believe you might be projecting, or something. I just want
> to sell stuff for cash on the net. Then, I want to surfact the financial
> markets into little tiny pieces...
> >The technologies which hit the right chord rarely need, or benefit from,
> >the "evangelists" and "cheerleaders." The Macintosh did not Guy Kawasaki or
> >any of the other so-called evangelists to succeed. The microprocessor did
> >not evangelists. The airplane did not. The VCR did not. The cellular phone
> >did not.
> I don't believe that for a minute, and on reflection, you probably don't
> either. Jerry Sanders at AMD. Hell, Tim, you knew Moore, for god's sake.
> Think about, oh, the Sony guy, whatever his name is, Morita. The people who
> built the Mac were *possessed*. So was Kawasaki. I'm *still* possessed.
> What about the *entrepreneur's* reality distortion field. I bet you've seen
> more than a few, and probably more than a few who were right, or you
> wouldn't be thrashing your Mac on the net and clipping coupons...
> >And I can think immediately of several
> >technologies that had active proselytizers--Ted Nelson, Doug Engelbart,
> >Marty Lepselter, Steve Jobs, Eric Drexler, fusion enthusiasts, space
> >enthusiasts--but in which progress has been stalled or proceeded along
> >different paths for different reasons.
> I resemble that remark. Sure, Tim some of them didn't make it. But for
> every one of those (strange you should mention Jobs, right after I mention
> the reality distortion field, and don't count him out yet, rumor has it
> Ellison wants him to run Apple when Oracle buys it, god help us all), there
> are others who did exactly that. Von Braun, or Porsche, or, hell, all I can
> think of are germans, uh, okay, Bill Gates.
> >This is a very interesting area for me, and I used to write extensively
> >about it. Nick Szabo and I had several debates about this, a couple of
> >years ago. However, no time now to discuss the full implications here.
> Having been hammered by Nick myself, once or twice, I think I understand this...
> So. I'm enthused. My enthusiasm is demonstrably contagious. If someone gets
> enthusiastic about all this on my account, and puts up the king-hell,
> world-beater, financial-cryptography-killer-ap that's cool by me.
> Otherwise, it's only bandwidth, which I've wasted enough on for this
> thread. If you want to make the rubble bounce, go for it.
> Besides, I usually stay in my cage, these days. Which is where I'm going to
> go and lurk for another month or so...
> Bob Hettinga
> PS: Feh
> Robert Hettinga ([email protected])
> e$, 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA (617) 958-3971
> "Reality is not optional." --Thomas Sowell
> The e$ Home Page: http://www.webstuff.apple.com/~vinnie/Rah
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