Jul 15 2000

2000 SIAF banquet opening speech

Yours Truly exercises his speaking skills at the Shareware Industry Awards
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In the year 1632, Galileo Galilei did the unthinkable. He wrote a book for the layman describing the two Chief World Systems. Galileo was dismissed as a lunatic, threatened with torture by the Inquisition, and ex-communicated. His book was burned and banned — yet less than 20 years later, scholars embraced Galileo’s findings as an established fact.

His work led Newton to conceive calculus. It gave Einstein the very questions he answered in general & special relativity. Galileo himself was cited in the famous “hammer-feather” experiment conducted on the moon. Indeed, we couldn’t have even reached the moon without his staggering observations.

And all Galileo said was, “the sun is the center of the solar system.”

350 years later, in the year 1982, Jim Button and Andrew Fleugelman did the unthinkable. They released commercial software any layman could obtain at no initial cost. Their sales model was deemed ‘idiotic,’ was blamed for spreading almost all viruses, and was banned in corporate & government sectors — yet here we are, less than 20 years later, and computer users around the world embrace Button’s & Fleugelman’s sales model as an established fact.

Rob emcees the 2007 SIAF ceremonies

Rob emcees the 2007 SIAF ceremonies

Their marketing strategy helped Phil Katz set a world standard in file compression. Their ideas dominated the antivirus world and completely engulfed modem-based software. Button & Fleugelman forced Egghead to close its stores and they forced Microsoft to change its own marketing strategies. Indeed, they touched the lives of everyone at this conference.

And all Button & Fleugelman said was, “users should try software before they buy it.”

Galileo forced the entire world to change its views in less than 20 years. So did Button & Fleugelman. Imagine what the future must hold in store for shareware.

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Shareware Industry Awards. I’m your Master of Ceremonies, Rob Rosenberger. Tonight, we honor the industry’s cream of the crop in the year 2000. This event was conceived to honor the very best products written by Shareware developers.

If you look at your printed program, you’ll see the many winners of past years. These are the “Galileo’s” who paved the way for us in earlier times. Tonight we honor the “Button’s & Fleugelman’s” who break new ground and set new standards of excellence…

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