Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The lasting impact of the Y2K crisis

Remembering Y2K: Radio Series Examines Whether It Has Lasting Impact

The Y2K phenomenon still lingers today, according to a series scheduled for airing on National Public Radio in early January. Among other things, the reporters who researched the Y2K story found that much of today's offshore outsourcing rage was jump-started by Y2K.

"The Surprising Legacy of Y2K," will broadcast on NPR's Marketplace segments on Jan 3, 4, and 5. The series features interviews with John Koskinen, President Clinton's Y2K czar, who said he was in a no-win position. If nothing happened when at the moment of truth he would be attacked for preparing for a hoax. But if the computers stopped, he would be blamed for the crisis.

The Y2K crisis was real, but it was also exploited by many tech companies to persuade customers to buy upgrades they didn’t really need. It increased sales at the expense of future business and contributed to the subsequent bust.

It also went a long way to ending the mystique of technology. All across the world the cries of corporate management could be heard, “What do you mean you didn’t know the century was going to change?”

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