May 6, 2012

Website Mania

By the 1840s, a "Railroad Mania" was raging, with stocks selling on multiples of passenger miles, a precursor for multiples of page views that Yahoo stock would trade on 150 years later. An inventor named Charles Babbage complained that "the railroad mania withdrew from other pursuits the most intellectual and skillful draftsmen." [...] Investors made money, investors lost money, but in the best and worst of times, the railroads got built, and people and goods were shuffled about.

How We Got Here, A Slightly Irreverent History of Technology and Markets

I think that, these days, Babbage would be looking for the systems programmers.