advise, predict and apprise public of things to come in the age
Day one of the e-summit in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium, which
was filled to capacity. (below, left to right) Thomas C. Power,
FCC legal adviser; Michael S. McQuary, president and COO of
MindSpring Enterprises Inc.; Melvyn P. Leffler, Arts & Sciences
dean; Allison H. Abraham; Richard W. Miksad, Engineering School
dean; Carl P. Zeithaml, Commerce School dean; Edward A. Snyder,
Darden School dean; Jeffrey C. Walker; Halsey M. Minor; Lawton
W. Fitt; Timothy A. Koogle; Mark B. Templeton; U. Bertram
Ellis Jr.; Jeffrey D. Nuechterlein; and Edward L. Ayers, U.Va.'s
Hugh P. Kelly Professor of History, who's a visiting professor
at Stanford this year, but returned for the e-summit.
a computer language. Look for software applications to be free
soon. Expect to cast your vote online in the near future. And
say "so long" to PCs, and "hello" to computing
appliances, the latest in technological tools.
advice and predictions flowed as freely at the first session of
as the information that wends its way round-the-clock through
the World Wide Web. Leaders in the Internet industry, who also
happen to be U.Va. alumni, attended the conference Nov. 12 and
13, apprising the public of things to come and offering guidance
to students and budding entrepreneurs.
H. Abraham, COO of iVillage U. Bertram Ellis Jr.,
chair and CEO of iXL Enterprises
Lawton W. Fitt, Goldman, Sachs & Co.'s Equity Capital
Markets Group member responsible for financing high-tech
companies Timothy A. Koogle, head of Yahoo!, who
developed the model that every major search engine has followed:
make the site free to users and support it with advertising
Halsey M. Minor, founder of CNET Inc.
Mark B. Templeton, president and CEO of Citrix Systems
Inc. Jeffrey C. Walker, managing partner of Chase
Capital Partners, Chase's $7.5 billion global private equity
fund, and a senior managing director and member of the executive
committee and the policy council of The Chase Manhattan
Bank Panel moderator: Edward A. Snyder, Darden School
Internet will be woven into people's lives much the way the telephone
has been, Timothy Koogle told attendees at the session on "Forecasting
the Future: Jeffersonian Principles in the Internet Age."
Abraham agreed, and offered a business tip. Fifty-six-thousand
women are now dieting together online through her site; "Integration
into users' lifestyles is what will sustain companies."
job of the Internet is empowering consumers," Lawton Fitt
said. It's also reinvolving users civically. Online voting is
a good example of this, she said. The Web offers a "host
of accoutrements that enhance users' purchases," said Halsey
Minor. For example, "when buying a PC, you can track the
item from the time of purchase to delivery, then get support online
when you have questions. This is unique to the Web environment."
their discussions from a consumer- to an entrepreneurial-based
focus, Jeffrey Walker said that "the Internet is changing
the way businesses operate across fields -- chemistry, industry,
Templeton said, don't worry about failure in the high-tech business
world. Keep trying. "Eyes are on the front of your head to
keep you looking forward." Undergrads should participate
in student-run organizations, urged Bertram Ellis. "It's
what's unique about this University. ... It's how I cut my teeth
School Dean Ted Snyder moderated the session, posing questions,
some of which came from the audience.
estimated that 200 million people in the U.S. and abroad (or 10
percent of the world population) use the Internet, and that number
is projected to triple by 2003. Half to two-thirds of the growth
during this time is expected to occur outside the U.S., he said.
support secondary schools, "we need to get them out of
the computer business and into the computing business,"
said Mark Templeton (above). "Web-based server clusters,
which store up-to-date information, are being built. Small,
wireless computing appliances, such as the one I'm holding,
can tap this resource. They cost about $1,000 each,"
and would replace desktop computers.
spending is growing too, he said. "It's expected to climb
to 24 billion in two to three years, and business-to-business
commerce is expected to be $1.2 trillion by 2003. The numbers
and dollar amounts show that [the Internet] is a fundamental medium,
offering transactions and information simultaneously.
type of fundamental shift" in the way business is done doesn't
come along often, Koogle noted.
the most phenomenal business opportunity I've seen," said
all is rosy, though. Walker brought up the widening socio-economic
rift in access to technology. "Only 1 percent of inner-city
children have access to the Internet. That's ridiculous. Are the
'haves' going to change things for the 'have-nots?'" he asked.
agreed. "I think we are headed for an Internet 'have and
have-not world.' I don't have solutions [to prevent this, but]
it starts with philanthropy and grassroots efforts."
need to address illiteracy, too, as most information on the Web
is text-based, and voice-activation [technology] is a long way
off," Minor said.
Walker said wireless tools and devices are what poorer countries
are most interested in, as this type of technology reduces the
need for costly infrastructure, such as communication lines. He
hopes governments allow free access to these tools, instead of
limiting citizens' use of such products.
raised concerns users have about security and privacy issues,
when he said, "You can't put your ID badge in your pocket
are getting more comfortable" online, Koogle said. For example,
they're more inclined now to put "their credit card numbers
out there." He attributes this phenomenon to the trust users
and online service providers are developing. He said companies
can ensure this trust by instituting such business practices as
third-party audits, which they can display to users as "stamps
Minor said companies should be "up front" with users,
letting them know that "your company will be uploading information
from them, which can be helpful in informing them when their systems
need to be upgraded," for example.
Web has the potential to provide freer access to information worldwide,
Koogle said. Nations with stringent privacy rules, such as Germany,
will need to adjust their environments, Ellis noted.
stigmas in regard to entrepreneurship must change as well, said
Minor, who recalled a recent conversation he had in Portugal with
a cab driver. The man told him that entrepreneurship didn't thrive
there, as it doesn't in many countries, because it's a disgrace
said this attitude is slowly shifting, based on changes he's seeing
in international investing practices by countries outside the
Minor predicts that "entrepreneurship will be our country's
if online advertising compromises the integrity of the Internet,
Abraham said it's a valid concern. She cited as an example credit
card companies wanting to advertise on a site where people share
information on how to improve their finances and ease their debt
consumers understand that to provide free information to users,
dollars have to be generated to support businesses such as Yahoo!,"
Koogle said. Online advertising should be done in a non-intrusive
way, and the ad should be relevant to the content of what users
are looking at, he said, placing a power bar ad on a sports page,
for instance. "It's the right mix Š you maintain [users']
trust and serve companies placing the ads well," too, he
pointed out that offering users free information in exchange for
tolerating advertising isn't the only working model. "What
about PBS?" he asked.
uses underwriters and sponsors to support its programing, which
like the Internet, is free to viewers.
said the biggest threat to the Internet "is the possibility
of one or a small number of companies getting control of key technology
that we all need." Responding to the snickers, he acknowledged
that "everyone in the industry fears Microsoft, but also
knows that intervention by the government Š will slow down the
fear government intervention far more than Microsoft," Minor
Walker replied, "Microsoft should be feared. They're spending
$3 billion in research," but noted that such companies usually
"die of their own weight."
about their preference for propriety-based versus communal software,
Koogle said operating systems should be propriety-based. Application
programs, however, are another story.
predicts in three to four years that online services will replace
user-owned software applications. "Software will be free.
Users will pay for service," he said. "Physical products
will have to continue to improve, though," Templeton said.
Printers, for example, could have embedded services to alert users
when toner cartridge or paper is low, for example, and inform
them that an order for the needed supplies has been placed and
that "entrepreneurship will be our country's greatest export."
"Technology pervades our life and will continue to do so
evermore," Koogle said. "Darwin was right," he
said, setting up an analogy between human evolution and technological
advances. "I think we're at the phase in our industry where
there's true critical mass, [and] it will sort itself out. New
companies will either evolve or expire. Think about what you can
be doing in the paradigm shift taking place now," he told