Did Xerox Blow it?
Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated) was founded in 1970 as a division of Xerox Corporation. It is a research and development company in Palo Alto, California with a well-known reputation for its contributions to information technology and hardware systems. It is responsible for developing well-known and important inventions such as the Ethernet, laser printer, the modern personal computer and graphical user interface (GUI). However, I believe there was opportunities Xerox could have capitalized on which would’ve been successful. Upper Management of Xerox did not grasp the revolutionary ideas or opportunity and did not pursue the concepts. How could a company literally lay the foundations for the entire personal computer industry, sink millions of dollars into a research facility, and than let the whole thing slip through their fingers?
Xerox Parc was however, successful in inventing two very innovative products; The Alto and the Laser printer. The Alto was revolutionary because it was a personal workstation for one, not a room-sized, time-sharing computer for many, meant to sit on a single desktop. The alto had a graphical user interface (GUI) with windows and icons. It also consisted of file storage, a mouse, and software to create documents, and send emails.
Invented by Gary Starkweather at Xerox’s Webster research center in 1969, the first laser printer prototype was made-up by modifying a xerographic copier. Starkweather collaborated with the Palo Alto team over the following couple years to refine his original design.
Steve Job’s Visit to PARC:
At the height of Apple’s early success in December 1979, Job had a privileged invitation to visit Xerox Parc. The tour of Steve Jobs to the Xerox PARC wasn’t one of a physical facility; it was tour of the softer ware and it was part of that demonstration. Xerox...
Cited: Hiltzik, Michael. Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age. Harper paper. 2000.
Gladwell, Malcolm. Xerox PARC, Apple and the truth about innovation. Creation Myth. 30 Jun 2012 “http://www.gladwell.com/pdf/creationmyth.pdf”
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