Way back in the Interwebs Dark Ages, circa 1995, a fellow named Clifford Stoll, PhD penned an opus for some magazine called Newsweek. This was 1995, remember- when people read actual magazines. Like the ones you see in museums.
Anyhoo, The Cliffster decided that this whole newfangled Internet thing was a stiff. Wasn’t gonna work. A non-starter. Take a look at just how wrong Cliff was. You can’t miss by much more than Cliff did. Here’s a quote pulled from Neatorama:
Then there’s cyberbusiness. We’re promised instant catalog shopping–just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obsolete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet–which there isn’t– the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.