The Dawn of the Computer Age

Via Cringely, I skipped ahead to Gordon Moore’s 20 minute presentation.

Quote of the day: “Every the salesmen thinks he’s management material.”

There’s also a fascinating discussion on fostering adoption. There are always vested interests that will never be able to see beyond ‘how things are done’. Innovation threatens jobs! More importantly, it threatens status.

It’s difficult to sell something to someone your product makes obsolete. Even if you aren’t laid off, it’s humiliating being beaten by some clever engineer’s toy. Especially if you’re an engineer yourself!

That’s why new entrants are so important. Existing enterprises are socially incapable of adopting revolutionary business models. Trying to foster an ‘entrepreneurial environment‘ in a large company is probably a waste of time.

One last interesting point from the video was the story of how they couldn’t sell the circuit at first because its component parts were collectively more expensive than the competing products of the day. Forget overhead and margin!

The solution? Sell at a loss and gun for scale.

It worked.

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