Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

June 18, 2007

From the Steve Gilliard Files: The Incredible Flying Scooter

Back in January of 2001, hardly anybody was talking about Osama Bin Laden, Global Warming, or Saddam Hussein. Across America, the big buzz was about a miraculous invention dubbed "IT," whose impact might be bigger than the atomic bomb or the internal combustion engine. And somehow, only John Doerr, Steve Jobs, and Jeff Bezos had actually seen this remarkable machine in action.

"IT," (later code-named "Ginger") turned out to be nothing more interesting than a gyroscopically stabilized scooter, and seven years later, it's just a big, expensive novelty, not the planet-changing machine it was hyped to be.

It's easy to forget how our collective minds can be warped by corporate hype, but Steve Gilliard was a hype-buster extraordinare. In an article posted to Netslaves on January 12th, 2001 entitled "The Flying Scooter," he takes Doerr, Jobs, Bezos, and their media partners in mega-hype to task.

As Steve so accurately noted, "the whole thing smells familiar. They should have a tag line: the super scooter, from the same people who brought you the Mac, mail order books online and VC funding."

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