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Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, then Ignored, the First Personal Computer ebook

by Robert C. Alexander,Douglas K. Smith


Fumbling the Future tells how one of America's leading corporations invented the technology for one of the fastest-growing products of recent times, then miscalculated and mishandled the opportunity to fully exploit it. It is a classic story of how innovation can fare within large.

Fumbling the Future tells how one of America's leading corporations invented the technology for one of the fastest-growing products of recent times, then miscalculated and mishandled the opportunity to fully exploit it. It is a classic story of how innovation can fare within large corporate structures, the real-life odyssey of what can happen to an idea as it travels from inspiration to implementation. More than anything, Fumbling the Future is a tale of human beings whose talents, hopes, fears, habits, and prejudices determine the fate of our largest organizations and of our best ideas.

Fumbling the Future, by Douglas Smith and Robert Alexander, is a detailed analysis of Xerox’s venture into the personal computer industry in the 1970s

Fumbling the Future, by Douglas Smith and Robert Alexander, is a detailed analysis of Xerox’s venture into the personal computer industry in the 1970s. Xerox, the undoubted leader in the photocopy business, experienced booming financial growth and no competitor stood a chance against the giant. Xerox executives realized that computers represented the dawn of a new age in office technology and an opportunity for immense financial gains. They wanted a piece of the pie. As a result, Xerox entered the computing industry and developed the Alto, the first personal computer.

Fumbling the Future book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read

Fumbling the Future book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

Read unlimited books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android. Fumbling the Future tells how one of America's leading corporations invented the technology for one of the fastest-growing products of recent times, then miscalculated and mishandled the opportunity to fully exploit it.

Doug Smith has drawn the lessons for "On Value and Values" from hiswork across more than 40 industries and professions as a teacher, lawyer, writer, historian, consultant, and thinker.

Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, then Ignored, the First Personal. Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal. Doug Smith has drawn the lessons for "On Value and Values" from hiswork across more than 40 industries and professions as a teacher, lawyer, writer, historian, consultant, and thinker.

Xerox had the prescience to realize that the copying market it dominated throughout .

Xerox had the prescience to realize that the copying market it dominated throughout the 1960's would not be a private preserve forever. By the mid-1970's, report consultants Smith and Alexander, PARC had created a commercially viable PC called the Alto.

by Robert C. Alexander and Douglas K. Smith. Select Format: Hardcover. ISBN13: 9781583482667.

Check here and also read some short description about this Fumbling the Future - How . in All Books, Best Business Books, Douglas Burnet Smith, Entrepreneur, Life, Most Popular, Non-Fiction Books, Self Help Books, Success, Uncategorized.

Check here and also read some short description about this Fumbling the Future - How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, The First Personal Computer English Book in PD. Download now Fumbling the Future – How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, The First Personal Computer by Douglas Burnet Smith English Book in PDF for FREE.

Ask consumers and users what names they associate with the multibillion dollar personal computer market, and they will answer IBM, Apple, Tandy, or Lotus. The more knowledgable of them will add the likes of Microsoft, Ashton-Tate, Compaq, and Borland. But no one will say Xerox. Fifteen years after it invented personal computing, Xerox still means "copy." Fumbling the Future tells how one of America's leading corporations invented the technology for one of the fastest-growing products of recent times, then miscalculated and mishandled the opportunity to fully exploit it. It is a classic story of how innovation can fare within large corporate structures, the real-life odyssey of what can happen to an idea as it travels from inspiration to implementation. More than anything, Fumbling the Future is a tale of human beings whose talents, hopes, fears, habits, and prejudices determine the fate of our largest organizations and of our best ideas. In an era in which technological creativity and economic change are so critical to the competitiveness of the American economy, Fumbling the Future is a parable for our times.
avanger
Fumbling the Future, by Douglas Smith and Robert Alexander, is a detailed analysis of Xerox’s venture into the personal computer industry in the 1970s. Xerox, the undoubted leader in the photocopy business, experienced booming financial growth and no competitor stood a chance against the giant. Xerox executives realized that computers represented the dawn of a new age in office technology and an opportunity for immense financial gains. They wanted a piece of the pie. As a result, Xerox entered the computing industry and developed the Alto, the first personal computer. Additionally, the company created a technology research department and computer research laboratory to stake its claim in the industry. In a relatively short time, Xerox’s computer division was packed full of the brightest minds in computer science. On the surface, it seemed that Xerox would gain generous profits, but instead, Xerox’s computing endeavors lead to massive financial devastation.

Under the surface, Xerox suffered from many weaknesses related to management’s poor understanding of how to run a computer business. This dragged Xerox into a downward spiral of poor investment decisions, mismanagement, disjointed business strategies, and conflicts among departments. When Xerox reached its weakest point, lawsuits and a financial recession drained the company of vital resources and began to dig a grave for Xerox executives’ hopes and dreams. The company suffered a colossal financial loss.

This is a rich historical case study that retains its relevance today. Unlike many case studies, this one recognizes the human element of business decision-making and delves quite deeply into it. The text identifies managers responsible for Xerox’s poor decisions and explains how their personalities and their relationships with others influenced the company’s direction. This unique perspective is invaluable. Another positive is that the chapters are rich with contextual information surrounding Xerox’s actions and will not leave readers wondering why or how important events occurred. Each chapter is chalked full of clear examples of missed opportunities and poor decision-making, but also highlights effective decisions and how/when they turned into poor ones. The book will more than satisfy those who are eager for detail and hungry for context.

A business reader who values succinctness may find a lot of the information superfluous. The abundance of detail can occasionally distract from vital aspects of the case. Readers may have to mentally weed-out less relevant details to gain a stronger grasp of the situation. Additionally, there are many different character names, which can make it easy to confuse protagonists. The book’s organization is not entirely chronological either. There are frequent jumps in time, which can result in a misunderstanding of the timeline of events and dates. The beginning of the book dives deeply into the technologies developed at Xerox and the technological evolution of computing. Although interesting, this level of depth is not needed to understand the case; some may find it excessive and tedious to read. Lastly, the latter half of the book becomes repetitive, as certain events are repeated from different points of view. Overall, the educational value of this book far outweighs its shortcomings.
Cordann
Fumbling the Future explores how it is possible that Xerox was so important in the creation of personal computing, yet they failed to market it themselves. It is less of a book about the technology and more about the politics within a large organization that can kill a good idea.

The book starts with describing the history of Xerox, where they came from and how they became already a large company before the famous PARC lab. It continues with a thread that runs throughout the book, the speech from the CEO which sets the vision for the company as "the architecture of information." This vision led to the creation of PARC and drove the research efforts in the lab.

Bob Taylor who earlier ran the ARPANet efforts, was invited to run the PARC lab (or, to do the recruiting). Bob got people he knew from his earlier ARPA effort and quickly gathered a huge amount of talent in the lab. They started their research and invented e.g. PCs, ethernet, laser printer, and word processors. This technology was more advanced than the things outside of PARC lab.

Xerox, as an organization, failed to exploit the advantages in technology because of organizational politics. Most of the book describes these in fairly much detail. Several camps existed within Xerox management who could not get along. The ex-Ford people, who had the most amount of power within Xerox for a while, ignored the things coming out of PARC. There was even friction between the head of research and Bob Taylor as Bob created an us-them atmosphere which might have helped the research but definitively not the exploitation of it.

In the end, people started leaving PARC lab. Politics within the lab grew stronger and stronger and eventually Bob Taylor got fired. Many senior researchers followed them to his new job and the period of major inventions within PARC ceased.

At first, I was disappointed by this book. It seemed to make minor mistakes related to technology. The authors are not experts in technology. Later, I got over my disappointment and enjoyed the detailed description of the politics within the management. It's rare to read such a detailed account of what goes on within a company over many of years. That perspective of the book I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend it for that. If you expect a book about the creation of the technology within PARC, then this is not the book for you however.

Recommended, though not a 5 star book. 4 stars.
Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, then Ignored, the First Personal Computer ebook
Author:
Robert C. Alexander,Douglas K. Smith
Category:
Biography & History
Subcat:
EPUB size:
1251 kb
FB2 size:
1336 kb
DJVU size:
1250 kb
Language:
Publisher:
iUniverse (June 1, 1999)
Pages:
276 pages
Rating:
4.7
Other formats:
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