Harry's Bad Pitch
Once upon a bad dream, early in the Year of No World Series (1994), Harry worked in the Gotham office of a proud media Conglomerate. Harry was developing content for their Interactive cable TV experiment. They were going to be the first to hook up a neighborhood with Interactive TV, the test launch to be in an experimental Florida community wired for high speed cable.

They weren't quite sure how much it would cost, but they would be first. They would make history.

Harry learned that the software and hardware for the Florida test was buggy and way behind schedule. Meanwhile,they struggled to make a compelling interactive U.S. Postal Service infomercial.

Harry had been using the Internet since back when Kurt Gibson hit that magical World Series homer for Lasorda's Dodgers. One day in the presence of the company President, Tipper Goodbar, and a number of important managers, Harry suggested that they connect one channel of the I-TV trial to the Internet.

"No, the Internet is only for science geeks!" she proclaimed, laughing off Harry's new idea. She was set firmly within the company line: they would build their own network, following the cable TV model.

Harry reeled in shock and disbelief. The President of the company, this influential mass media leader did not get it.

"...and big corporate planning is run by out-of-touch power posers," thought Harry, reddening and biting his lip.

So Harry learned not all teams are fortunate enough to have savvy leadership, managers like Jim Clarke or Davey Johnson. Go for the real thing, the substance. Otherwise you end up stuck with Astro Turf.

This is only one of many horror stories occurring in the imminent confrontation between old world media and new world technologies.

story and illustration by Hank Grebe
Actual names have not been used to protect the innocent as well as the not so innocent.



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