True, it wasn't a viable alternative for *some* applications, but was for 95% of what Flash was being used for out on the Web. And, while I applaud Jobs for taking the stand he did (and starting the avalanche), it didn't exactly take a ton of vision on that one.
I was quite against Flash before that, as the resources it required were outrageous, it was quite buggy and a huge security hole, AND the biggest reason, it was quickly becoming a non-standard, in that more and more devices couldn't (or shouldn't) use it.
I think the biggest surprise to me, were the companies that jumped on-board to support it, in an almost suicidal move. I'd have to think it was simply a gut attempt to just go against Jobs, rather than anyone actually taking the time to think it through.