David Isenberg

Chief Operating Officer, Isen.com LLC

In 1997, David S. Isenberg wrote an essay entitled, The Rise of the Stupid Network: Why the Intelligent Network was a Good Idea Once but isn't Anymore. In it, Isenberg (then a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Laboratories) examined the technological bases of the existing telecom business model, laid out how the communications business would be changed by new technologies, foresaw today's cataclysms, and imagined tomorrow's new network.

Tom Evslin, a senior AT&T executive at that time, told The Wall Street Journal that The Rise of the Stupid Network, "was like a glass of cold water in the face" of AT&T's leaders. The Wall Street Journal called the essay "scathing . . . startling", and said, "it may soon assume cult status among the tech mavens that roam the World Wide Web." Communications Week International said that the essay "challenged the most sacred assumptions of the telecom world." The Gilder Technology Report said it was "a stirring call". Inevitably, the essay found wider acceptance outside of AT&T than within it. So in 1998, Isenberg left AT&T to found isen.com, inc. to help telecommunications companies understand the business implications of the newly emerging communications infrastructure.