First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. By Mahatma Gandhi.
Remember the typical recess period of your first grade school day? I do. Elizabeth was creating beautiful artwork with dirt, leaves, and pieces of gum in front a small approving audience of 2 or 3. Reid was a step away from crushing it, we all knew. Lisa, Julio, Gerd, and Shawanda were playing their latest version of hacky sack. Others were sliding, swinging, jumproping, and see-sawing.
Pictured to the left is Donya Quixote at the Crescent City Classic 2005 in New Orleans.
And then, there was Alexander. He told us his parents were both women. He wore slippers to school every day unless there was a special event, and then he wore his vintage 1750 style leather shoes. He had the voice of an angel that everyone made fun of. He said he was going to be President of the United States some day. I remember his science project in 7th grade, about 1972, was really laughed at, and now, when I look back, it was ingenious, a glimpse of something like the world wide web. Well, maybe not.
The science project was called "Rousseau's Noble Savages Succeed with Nil Planning." He had built a box that was quartered into 4 mazes with some source in the center that kept it together. Inside each maze were lengths of fishing line, necklace chain, and yarn with a metal ball super-glued to the end of each. Along the corriders within each maze, there were tiny flip up doors that flipped either way. There were pieces of velcro and gum and bits of vaseline and oil in different locations. It looked a mess, but he said it was his masterpiece. He demonstrated with a Burger King crown on his head, breeches that fit snugly and had a fall-front opening, and low-heeled leather shoes fastened with buckles, and silk stockings.
I don't know what has happened to Alexander. I do know that entrepreneurs and other types who are brave enough to dream out loud and concoct new fun weird science, are politely ignored at first (no one looks them in the eye), get laughed at, have fights started with them and sometimes if they just hang in there, they win.
Look at "voice over Internet."
People laughed and said no one will ever buy VoIP. It's too unreliable. Look at Vonage, Packet8, Lingo, SunRocket, AOL and the thousands of other companies who sell it now. And what about our acceptance of the roaming costs and dropped calls and "I can't hear you" with cell phones.
Read the VoIP forums and note... the spurning, the jeering, the fisticuffs portrayed toward most ideas early in their presence like that toward Skype, paid to talk, DIDX, videochat, eBay, Paypal and other ebank services, Asterisk in general, etc.
Check out the threats of ISP's to block VoIP that is not their own... even in the United States of America, the free country, right?
People are beaten, tortured, and jailed for dealing with VoIP in some areas of the world. I remember every VoIP expo in these areas and the booth visitors whispering to me, "You must know, this is illegal here." Really odd, huh? Like dangling a carrot in front of a rabbit at the edge of a cliff.
At a recent IT meeting, one of the attendees Buford said to me, "VoIP needs a reality check. And the DIDX thing... no one would want a phone number from another country. You guys who are trying to sell it, can't possibly think people will really embrace it."
I thought of the 2650+ DIDX members busily buying and selling DID's at that moment and wished I had a Burger King crown on my head as I politely smiled at Buford.