Posted by Mike Rollings
(Edited excerpt) "The initial reaction was anything but positive. They thought it was a horrible idea... every institution he funded demanding ever more computer power and duplicating research on those machines. At the time computers were completely incompatible and moving data was a huge chore. The resistance came about because those institutions wanted to keep control of their computer resources. But, they soon saw that hooking up to it meant a huge increase in the potential computer power they had at their disposal. They quickly learned that there was a tremendous gain for them, and it also fulfilled the goal of cutting spending on computers".
I read this and thought it could apply to a discussion about cloud computing, decisions about shared corporate computing environments, or just about any transformative change.
What did this quote apply to? Forty years ago today data flowed between the first nodes of what was then known as Arpanet -- the beginning of the Internet. Mark Ward of BBC News interviewed Dr Larry Roberts, the MIT scientist fundamental to Arpanet. The article "Celebrating 40 years of the net" describes what happened.
Happy Birthday Internet! The story is just another reminder that human behavior is a critical aspect of change.