[iDC] Will you delete your Feedburner account?

Gere, Charlie c.gere at lancaster.ac.uk
Tue Jun 12 03:12:09 EDT 2007

Here we have the myth of the garage start up (which is itself a version of the American frontier myth), that completely disavows the fact that the American computer industry, the Internet and everything supposedly driven by unfettered  entrepreneurial energy, were actually only made possible by large-scale government funded research and development, paid for by tax dollars. These include the basis of almost all the ideas supposedly developed in these garages. With all due respect to the garage entrepreneurs they mostly took advantage of or even parasited on an already highly developed system that could not have existed without large scale investment in money and time from the US government. 

Even the early commercial computer companies were only started because of the possibility of large government contracts. Above all much of the development of computing as we now know it was driven by US military needs in relation to the Cold War and Vietnam and continues to be sustained by military adventurism in Iraq and elsewhere. To a large extent this, rather than some fantasy of garage creativity, is and always has been the 'heart of the economic engine'.

Jobs and Woz and Hewlett and Packard may have worked in garages, but those garages were sited conveniently close to the location of an already huge industry only made possible and sustained by large scale government funding, spending and infrastructure. The garages themselves probably only existed because of that industry's need to house its workers. By all means credit such people for their intelligent engagement with the possibilities of computing, but let's not indulge a libertarian fantasy that denies the real history of the industry

-----Original Message-----
From: idc-bounces at mailman.thing.net on behalf of Alex Randall
Sent: Sun 6/10/2007 10:57 PM
To: Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten; IDC list
Subject: Re: [iDC] Will you delete your Feedburner account?
You're a hero.
You are the engine of new ideas.
You are where it all begins.
Like Jobs and Woz in the garage or Hewlett and Packard in the garage...

I started America's first e-commerce business - Boston Computer Exchange - 
before there was an Internet, before there was easy software, before there 
were more than a few thousand folks using CompuServe... Before you could 
click and close with credit cards.

If it were not for Garage entrepreneurs - ALL of the rest of them would not 
have work.
Lament the lot of the uncreative workers bees that come after us for there 
job is to pick up the working idea we have created and milk it for bigness 
and billions.

For me - the garage start up venture, the dining room table idea - this is 
the heart of the economic engine.

Alex Randall

PS and by all means sell out - to the uncreative manager types who can't 
think of anything new. They deserve to pay dearly for what you create.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten" <boris at fleck.com>
To: <iDC at mailman.thing.net>
Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2007 9:22 AM
Subject: Re: [iDC] Will you delete your Feedburner account?

> Hello all,
> Before I make my point first a short introduction. My name is Boris 
> Veldhuijzen van Zanten. I'm an entrepreneur from Amsterdam, The 
> Netherlands. My company Meganova works like an old-fashioned  incubator 
> but without much money.  I started several companies and  sold 2 of them. 
> I'm also the organizer of The Next Web Conference and  a founder of 
> Fleck.com.
> I find it hard not to feel attacked when I read some of the comments  on 
> this list. I am one of those 'greedy' people who only wants to  sell out. 
> There is no need to apologize for this, I'm actually proud  of being able 
> to start innovative companies, grow them from nothing  to something and 
> then step aside when the moment (and the number) is  right. 

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