Maybe I am being redundant in writing this article and maybe everyone has heard this all before. However, I don't think anyone has quite made this analogy.
If you think about entertainment and technology, they both have similar histories. Both have gone through booms and busts, both have brought pleasure to their consumers' lives, and both have been led by men who took someone's idea and formed (some may argue stole) it as their own.
Enter Xerox—the company that invented the graphic user interface (GUI) operating system, today known as Windows and Apple OS and the mouse. Their management didn't like the concept, didn't know how to market it, and thought it was a fruitless idea.
Now enter Steve Jobs and Bill Gates—two men hell-bent on getting to the loot first. Steve Jobs and his crew were given all the information of Xerox's discoveries for free. That's right. They took the money and ran.
However, unbeknownst to Steve, Bill got their first. He took what was given to Steve Jobs and made it better and easier to use. Today Apple is successful, but not nearly as successful as Microsoft (and I believe this company still owns a portion of Apple).
Analogy: Xerox=ECW, Steve Jobs=Eric Bischoff, and Vince McMahon=new Bill Gates.
It's not an exact analogy, but close enough. Enter ECW. Different, edgy, and the most controversial wrestling company in the history of sports entertainment. Tables, ladders, chairs, barb wire, blood, ultraviolent, sex—it's the recipe for entertaining the 18-34 year old demographic.
ECW undoubtedly shook up the industry, but what it was lacking was direction and management skills.
Enter WWF and WCW. After losing to the WCW for 84-straight weeks in the ratings, Vince McMahon came up with the attitude era and, in Bill Gates fashion, worked a deal with Paul Heyman for talent exchange, used his talent, and ran with it.
Eric Bischoff was late to the show. His nWo storylines and cruiserweights grew old, and he attempted at the last minute to sign some ECW talent and create a hardcore division. Both Steve Jobs and Bischoff were too blind and arrogant to see that their futures would fall to competition.
But is was too late. Vince beat him to the punch. All the attitude era was was ECW-style television under the direction of the genius that is Vince.
In the end, it was ECW that really killed WCW, which no doubt put a smile on Heyman's face and a tear in his eye. I would even go so far as to say that WWF would not exist today without ECW. No, I would bet the bank on it.