CHAPTER14

Prodigy: The Flat-RatePioneer Who JustDidn't Get It

Eleven years ago, the Internet was just an intangible dream that Prodigy brought to life. Now it is a force to be reckoned with.

—Bill Kirkner, Prodigy Communications' Chief Technology Officer, 1999

From the beginning, Prodigy portrayed itself as what everyone was seeking in an online service. Although it was lacking some elements considered standard for online services, Prodigy offered several spectacular innovations, first among them flat-rate pricing. Backed by two of the nation's largest corporations, IBM and Sears, Prodigy promised to bring the best of home information service and shopping convenience to home computer users in a fast and easy-to-use graphic package.

On first ...

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