In the Money

... we were going to be able to share all the knowledge of the worldbetween all the computers.

—Larry Roberts, ARPANET and Telenet founder

Computers were not originally a mass-market product. They were more like airplanes, in that their cost and complexity ensured that the market wouldn't be huge. With computers, as with aircraft, the first profitable enterprise was producing machines for sale or lease. But other opportunities would be developed by those who could figure out the right angles.

As it happened, it was possible to turn the very factors that limited the market for computers—cost and complexity—into opportunities.1 Most businesses could not afford to own or lease a computer, so IBM and other manufacturers began ...

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