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> Are there any successful technologies that didn't hit an 80/20 point that
> succeeded because of management, investor, programmer, early
> or military support? The only examples I can think of are Windows, C++,
> and XSLT. Windows didn't have any competition, C++ immediately attracted
> competitors that quite successfully attacked it at the 80/20 point, and
> XSLT's 80/20 point is what people actually use.
Windows? Sure it had competition - Mac, OS2, Amiga, all of which were
technically better than early Windows and also better for a user to interact
I think that one important factor for something getting into widespread use
that hasn't been mentioned is how easy it is to get started using the
technology, especially for someone without much experience. This could
apply either absolutely or relative to the new technology, but for getting a
really large user base, it's the former (because you increase the user base
by getting new users into the pool).
With Visual Basic, it was pretty easy for a relative newbie to create
something, and not much harder to create something moderately useful. It
was very easy for total newcomers to create HTML pages that worked. It's
significantly easier for a newcomer to start doing something with XML than
C++ could be written almost like C when you started out, so people who were
comfortable with C could get started, but that doesn't apply to
non-programmers, and C++ has not been taken up by legions of
Java is in between, and it's spread has been as well.
Hypercard would probably be a counter-example, do you think?