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Vol. 12, No. 41, April 24, 2000

 A Quick Primer To The Internet

To adequately cover the story of the Internet in 30 minutes is asking for a BBRC miracle. It almost happened when Rob Parker and Eric McLaughlin, acquaintances of Steve Lingenbrink, amply filled the abyss left when the scheduled speaker wasn’t able to perform. Parker, President & CEO of Acrosonic Corporation in Bellevue, talked about the growth of his firm, which provides graphics and information for internet users. A former teacher, Parker has seen his company grow from the garage to a new 2,500 s.f. office housing eight full-time employees. They have clients across the country, in biotech and aerospace industries particularly.

“The Internet is like golf …very humbling,” admitted Parker. “But it’s a fact that access to everywhere is available at home, at work, in your car. My company controls data … we are an application service provider which captures software being utilized by clients into central a location and then runs this software remotely for the benefit of the client.”

Eric McLaughlin
Eric McLaughlin

Eric McLaughlin, chief of Tech Power USA, discussed the philosophy and culture of the Internet. His company helps start-ups get going, designing the infrastructure to “make magic on the internet.”

McLaughlin posed the question: “So, where is it going? The internet revolution is as impactful as the Industrial revolution. It touches everyone, where we live, work, learn, and play.” He cited some of the important timelines of the computer revolution: in 1980, the first PC hit the market; in 1987, he bought his first PC … had a 10 MB hard drive; in 1990, he bought a 486 PC, followed in 1997 by his first Pentium.

Compare that with the almost exponential growth of the internet: 1995 – no internet Access; 1996 – limited access; 1997 – dial-up email and internet service providers; 1998 – made his first online purchase (prayed his credit card stayed out of the hands of criminals!); 1999 – acquired a DSL line for his home computer.

“The Internet economy will change business,” McLaughlin said. “Competitors in all fields are right now trying to figure out how to gain that competitive advantage. In this game, money is not the issue, but time is.”

MacLaughlin said that business today is a matter of core and context. “The core – made up of bits, information, services, time, and market cap – can be all insourced. The context should be outsourced for efficiency.”

Some of the consequences of the revolution are that organizations are squandering talent, failing to keep them busy on meaningful projects. Investors are easily alienated by the nuances of the new revolution. Often, Internet business creates inertia that blocks change … business must be agile in this new world. McLaughlin closed by saying, “Don’t miss the waves of progress. This is not a fad; it won’t go away. Now we can do business anytime, anyplace. It’s a convergence where information is more valuable than the product. Catch the wave!”

Thanks to Steve Lingenprogram for his introduction.


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