Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fumbling the Future | March 2011 | Communications of the ACM

Check the article link for some insights and IBM examples.  The best book on the Xerox failure to capitalize on innovation, imho, is Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age

Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer is the title of a classic 1998 book by D.K. Smith and R.C. Alexander that tells the gripping story of how Xerox invented the personal-computing technology in the 1970s, and then "miscalculated and mishandled" the opportunity to fully exploit it. To "fumble the future" has since become a standard phrase in discussions of advanced technology and its commercialization.

Another example definitely worth watching is a recently discovered copy of a 1993 AT&T commercial ( External Link), with a rather clear vision of the future, predicting what was then revolutionary technology, such as paying tolls without stopping and reading books on computers. As we know today, the future did not work out too well for AT&T; following the telecom crash of the early 2000s, the telecom giant had to sell itself in 2005 to its former spin-off, SBC Communications, which then took the name AT&T.

Fumbling the Future | March 2011 | Communications of the ACM

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