Tim O'Reilly - Round 2: Dial Tone:
"[I]n the 1940's there was concern that the telephone system was growing so fast that there wouldn't be enough operators unless AT&T hired every person in America. AT&T solved the problem by creating automated switching systems that, in effect, did turn every person in the world into an operator--without hiring them. The principle of dial tone is to create a situation where users can do something for themselves that once required the intervention of an operator.
[...] Once you frame the problem in this way, you understand that one of the challenges for IT departments and companies used to the IT mindset is to get the operators out of the way, and to build new processes that let users do the work for themselves. You also can ask yourself, where is dial tone going next?"