In early summer 1999 Miroslaw Malek told me that a new start up named Google, founded in September 1998, was starting to develope a new and completely different internet search engine. I thought "Heck, who cares?", because the internet search engine market seemed to be overcrowed at that time with successful companies like Yahoo, Altavista, etc. Back at my desk in the evening, I checked out Google (and Teoma), some of the underlying principles and have been using it ever since. Altavista, who?
When Google introduced Gmail on April 1, 2004, although furnished with tons of new and different features, I still thought "Heck, who cares? Email is simply email, you can´t reinvent the wheel even if you´re Larry Page or Sergey Brin, how can they think they could be more innovative than Yahoo mail and all the other webmail services?" Weeks later I received an invitation to Gmail and have been using it ever since (and remember, it´s still beta).
But David Sanger, the new president of the Stock Artists Alliance, started immediately one day later to work with Google Base and loaded up 200 fine art prints and afterwards "all 6000 images". And it´s obviously working. Generating new revenues. Without paying a middleman.