The A-Ha Moment By Deane Barker • July 17, 2006 • When was your a-ha! moment about the Internet? Think back to the early days: can you remember a moment when you thought: Whoa, this thing may really take off? I was pondering this the other day, and I can remember three moments from the mid-nineties that made me sit up and take notice. I was watching TV and an ad for Motorola came on. I have no idea what the ad was about, but it ended with the Motorola URL appearing on the screen. I remember that as clear as a bell – it was simple white on black. It was the first time I had ever seen a URL in mass media. At the time, I thought this was ridiculous. AOL ran an ad which showed a guy talking to a woman at a party. He asked her if he could call her sometime. She wrote something on a slip of paper, pressed in into his palm, and said “Sure” before walking away. The guy unfolded the paper, and it was…an AOL email address. I remember thinking, can you do that? Give someone your email address like a phone number? After I had gotten into the Internet a bit, I was emailing someone I know, and I mentioned that we should get together for lunch. He or she (I can’t remember who it was) responded, and a few emails later we had set up a lunch date. We both appeared for lunch at the designated place and time, without ever discussing the date offline. This completely blew me away, that we could arrange something in real life, without ever hearing each other’s voice. Did you ever have a moment like these? What was it?