Who would need a telephone?

In an essay on the difficulty of explaining RSS to folks in the Netherlands, where he lives, Adam Curry writes:

Really Simple translates well, but there is no dutch equivalent for the word Syndication. The country is so small it hasn't ever needed syndicated content. TV and radio signals are nationwide, so there is no network of affiliates to speak of. [Adam Curry's weblog]
early phones

A fascinating observation. It reminds me of a talk once given by a Lotus exec, Larry Moore, who was trying to explain why Notes' biggest problem was that nobody understood what problem it solved. To illustrate by example, Moore told a story -- possibly apocryphal, but wonderful nonetheless -- about the early road shows evangelizing the telephone. To demonstrate the new technology, Moore said, the evangelists would unspool some copper wire, stretch it across the stage, connect two phones, and show how two people could talk to one another over the wire. But nobody got it. Any fool could plainly see that those two people could as easily shout across the stage to one another! Who would need a telephone? They didn't get that the wire could also stretch across continents and oceans!

Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2003/07/17.html#a750