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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Best Seldom Wins

Published 1999-07-08

In the computer industry it is very rare that the best product/company wins. Usually what wins is a combination of marketing and price. This also applies to most other areas.
  • Xerox actually made the first PC as we know it. They also created Ethernet and Object Oriented technology. Management didn’t know what to do with them. Steve Jobbs came in, stole the PC, and presto we have Macintosh. One of their staff quit and took Ethernet to market.
  • In early 80’s Macintosh makes the best PC. IBM finally sees the potential, takes garbage parts from current PC manufacturers and sticks their logo on it. Suddenly all current PC manufacturers are “IBM Clones” except Macintosh. IBM compatible system dominate the market even with the crappy command line interface. IBM PC’s with their cheap parts are now perceived as superior to other PC’s even though other PC’s have vastly superior product.
  • Billy gets someone to hack CMS and pays them $50,000 for what is called QDos. Then sells it to IBM for $80,000 while still keeping the rights to use QDos. IBM drops the Q. Billy becomes Microsoft.
  • Macintosh had the best user interface(by far). Billy came with Windows(crap). Suddenly Windows was on everyone’s system. IBM came with OS/2. Technically superior system to Mac and Windows. Never got market share. Microsoft came with Windows95 and NT. Still not as good as OS/2 but guess who won?
  • STK made an awesome hard disk system for mainframes but could not market it until IBM replicated most of the features.
  • Amdahl made some of the best CPU’s in the mainframe but had difficulty marketing because IBM had total control of the market. Same thing with AMD and Intel in PC world. To bad, I really think they had great systems.
There are many more examples but I think you get the idea.
Almost always better products were ousted by lesser products with better marketing.
So what wins…..best product or best marketing?

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