America Online: A sucker born every minute…

According to a corporate press release dated June 16, 2000, America Online has surpassed the 23 million member mark. Founded in 1985, AOL has been a household name to novice computer users worldwide. Unfortunately, many of these novices don’t know that they’re only seeing a small portion of the Internet and are being limited by AOL’s proprietary and archaic interface.

Now, it’s fairly safe to make the assumption that at least a quarter of AOL’s 23 million customers are simply short-term users along for the free trial or jumping from service to service looking for the best deal. And, using that same line of thinking, roughly half of those 17.25 million remaining customers are probably smart enough to see AOL for what it really is and cancel their service in a desperate fit of fight or flight.

That leaves approximately 8.63 million customers that use AOL as their primary Internet Service Provider, give or take a random three quarter million people at any given time signing up or canceling. With this in mind, and approximately 7.88 million minutes in AOL’s 15 year history, this proves that a sucker really is born every minute.