Terrorists Lose When Business Continues2:09 PM EST Fri. Sep. 14, 2001
For the first time in the Internet age, the nation is at war. The near-jubilation of the dot-com era and the lingering resignation of the dot-bomb period has, in a single morning, been swamped by a wave of anger, fear and grief. And the target, for those of us who cover technology and business, was a very personal one.
Yet, four days later, it is inherently clear that we will win this war. The business of America is business, and already people are back to work, even in New York, the epicenter of the tragedy. The loss is staggering, but the indomitable spirit of the American people is even greater.
As rescue workers clear the rubble from the World Trade Center Plaza, many in our industry are working to restore their businesses and their customers' businesses to normal.
One reseller executive reports that a half dozen of his friends are already known dead, but he is still at work, helping to set up a crisis data center. Another executive escaped the World Trade Center Tuesday and went back to his offices Wednesday to see what he could do for his customers. The relationships that are the basic underpinnings of the reseller industry have withstood this vile, treacherous assault intact and, in many cases, have been strengthened.
Some things could have been much worse. If the attack had happened during dot-com euphoria, the crashed airliners would have been packed with passengers. If not for layoffs, more people would have been in the towers. And if not for the heroic actions of passengers on a Newark-to-San Francisco flight--among them a developer of medical technology and a Silicon Valley public relations man--the toll could have been much worse.
For this reporter, the silver lining was close to home. The call that awoke me early in California came from my aunt, an American Airlines flight attendant. Airline personnel are instructed to call their families early on in a disaster to relieve some small amount of traffic from airline switchboards. She said that nine flight attendants were flying as passengers on one of the airliners--friends and people she worked with who were now dead.
She also said she was absolutely going to keep flying.
That's the same sentiment I'm hearing from all over the country and from all corners of the technology industry. The people who make this industry go are competitive, and the hateful acts of Tuesday have filled them with the desire for revenge.
In their case, the best revenge may be to do what they do so well and continue to build the technology of the future.