August 1993

     "It may not seem important today, but I strongly suggest to everyone here that they to start familiarizing themselves with the various online marketplaces. One of the newer companies in this field, American Online, is doing a particularly good job of signing up new users. And then there's the Internet which is a real wild card."

     Source: Ken's remarks at Dan Kennedy's Annual Direct Marketing Super Conference in Phoenix

     Perspective: Most people at this time who gave the matter any thought actively doubted the Internet could become a successful, self-supporting commerical medium.

August, 1994

     "Now you need one more line on your business card; your Internet e-mail address. This simple step will open a new channel of communication between you, your company and an audience of what some estimate to be as many as 50 million well-educated, affluent people worldwide. Your prospects and customers can use e-mail to make inquiries, order products and offer suggestions. And once you learn a bit about the unique social niceties that have grown up around E-mail, you can use it to sell."

     Source: Stop %&$#ing around and get on the Internet now

     Perspective: When this comment was appeared in the DM News, less than 50% of all San Francisco "cutting edge" multimedia companies listed their employee's e-mail addressed on their business cards.

November 5, 1994

     "What's going to determine whether the Internet succeeds or not are not technical issues, it's going to be content issues."

     "...the thing that excites me about the Internet is that it allows you direct contact with your customers. No middlemen. You produce it, you distribute it. And you can build up a following and profit from that following."

     "A lot of people are talking about "Cyberspace", and the "Information Superhighway" with the idea that we're trying to create an alternate environment and the measure of our success will be that everything is done there. And that we should be gearing all our attention to creating this place that is completely independent from the rest of the world.

     That's crazy....The picture of every mature business is that they use every conceivable channel available."

     "There was (an) article in another major publication which said something to the effect that 'people are setting up Internet catalogs, but nobody's buying anything.' shouldn't be a surprise that some of the early pioneers of Internet cataloging might not be getting the sales they hoped for initially. Number one, the market is a little thin. While there are millions and millions of people with some kind of Internet access, not all of them know how to find catalogs. And number two, a lot of the people running online catalogs are not marketers, and take this on faith, one of the hardest businesses, from a marketing point of view to run is a catalog business. It's a brutal business... It's tough to sell things at a distance, so it shouldn't be a surprise that the initial attempts at selling via the Internet are running into certain difficulties. So I wouldn't take that story seriously either."

     "Bandwidth limitations. I always hear about bandwidth limitations...

     (We're) capable of creating all sorts of amazing leaps of technology and we're really just talking about adding a little bit more bandwidth. We're not talking about inventing something new, or laying the first transatlantic cable, which was quite a difficult physical feat. We're talking about taking technology that we already have, figuring out how to pay for it, and installing it. So the bandwidth problems. . . when they'll be solved, I don't know, but the solutions are inevitable."

"...someday, strangely enough, our descendants will look back at 1994, the year of the birth of the Internet-as-medium, as the old days and wonder how in the world we ever got by with such primitive technology!"

     Source: Why the web and why the web now

     Perspective: Jakob Nielsen said this about Ken's talk. ""This was a great talk for 1994, and it would still be a good talk today. Most people still don't get the points you made..." - April 27, 2000

     The Chicago Tribune said that Jakob Nielsen "knows more about what makes Web sites work than anyone else on the planet."

February 15, 1995

     "No one in their right mind would think that simply getting a phone number or opening a post office box is going to generate business," McCarthy says. "Similarly, simply setting up an online presence is not going to generate business for anybody. You need to integrate your online presence with some good old-fashioned marketing."

     Source: Future Shop - Entrepreneur Magazine

     Perspective: Ken is still trying get people to understand this one!

February 15, 1995

     Ken explained (his) approach: "When we teach marketers how to use online media, it's essential that they first understand the principals of direct marketing, how to attract an audience and deliver something that will be compelling and entertaining enough to maintain a following. Everybody is creating web sites. That's the easy part. Knowing how to build an audience takes more training and that's where we come in."

     Source: Profiles - Multimedia Reporter

     Perspective: Companies are still spending millions developing web sites without giving much thought to how to attract customers and keep them.

March 1995

     "Now any company or organization can afford to develop a presence on the world's largest and, soon-to-be, most accessible computer network. And most importantly, they can do it in their own way without being taxed or held back by the limitations imposed by closed, proprietary systems."

     The future of the Internet can be summed up in ten words: better service, lower prices, more content, more users, more opportunities."

     Source: The Web Wins the Online Crown

     Perspective: At this time, there was still an active debate about which would be dominant, the Internet or the major commercial online services. This was six months before Netscape's IPO.

April 1995

     "With physical media, the price structure is a major problem," he said. "You must charge enough for the distributor and retailer to make money, yet low enough to attract customers. At the same time, you as the developer are responsible for marketing and advertising. And after all is said and done, you don't know who is actually purchasing your titles when you distribute your content on discs. The customer's relationship is with the store. Being able to keep track of who is purchasing your material is one of the most compelling aspects of doing business on the 'Net."

     Source: Netsurfing - The Newsletter of the SF Bay Area Chapter of the International Interactive Communications Society

     Perspective: At this time of this interview, most of San Francisco's cutting edge "digerati" still believed that producing hit CD-ROMs would make them rich.

October 1995

     "The big companies, like Microsoft and America Online, don't have the intelligence in-house to go after all the small, but lucractive niche markets that exist. They have bright people in-house and they organize them well, but they don't have the kind of creative intelligence that can move into an unstructured situation and create something new that works and generates cash flow. They're good at taking something like that and pumping it up to a large scale. But they don't have the spark that comes from individuals and small teams of people who are dedicated to creating something from scratch. You have the opportunity to go into a new field, the Internet, that doesn't have a lot of competition and has a wide open panorama of opportunities. There are people with really deep pockets who will be delighted, if you come up with something successful, to give you a lot of money for it."

     Source: Multimedia Live

     Perspective: Just a few months after Netscape's IPO, most people including software and multimedia people still could not imagine how anyone could make money on the Internet.

October 6, 1999

     "The whole show runs on very cheap oil, a very strong dollar, and very low interest rates. The chickens appear to be coming home to roost on all three scores. The era of an economy fueled by trader-funded Internet pipe dreams may be closer to the end than most people realize."

     Perspective: At the time this comment was posted, all the major news magazines were declaring the Internet as the harbinger of new age in which the "rules of business are changed forever."

December 12, 1999

     "If you really, really want to own Internet shares, hang on. You'll be able to get them for pennies on the dollar. In the meantime, use the Internet to advance your own business."

     Source: The Great Internet Stock Boom

     Perspective: December '99 was one of the most dramatic months for gains in the Internet stock prices ever.

February 1, 2000

     "The problem is that when someone is not familiar with a medium, it's easy to be swayed by 'experts' who offer magic ways to get something for nothing."

     Source: Amacord's client newsletter

April 21, 2000

     "In my opinion, the best opportunities come from stepping aside, letting the crowd do what it wants to do (profiting from it when possible), but most importantly, looking for the very obvious values the crowd is missing, scooping them up while they are still absurdly low, and holding on.

     The Internet is a classic case in point. Seven years ago, the idea of the Internet being important to Silicon Valley was ridiculed. The prospect that AOL could compete with IBM's Prodigy was considered ridiculous. And even Tim Bernes-Lee, the inventor of the Web, was furious with Marc Andreessen for promoting a graphical interface for the Web because he was certain the network would be overwhelmed by the traffic and collapse.

     But some people looked beyond the loud opinions of the uninformed.

     So the message here is not simply don't get caught up in manias, it's also have the courage of your convictions when everything looks bleak and hang on. Things usually take longer to develop than you expect, but that doesn't mean progress isn't happening."

     Source: Amacord's client newsletter

     Perspective: Keep looking ahead. The Internet's best days are yet to come.