Author Topic: Big tech companies seem to always evolve away from consumers.  (Read 459 times)

David Kiley

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Big tech companies seem to always evolve away from consumers.
« on: February 15, 2020, 09:48:12 am »
I was just thinking that most of the big tech companies often start serving consumers but eventually focus all on enterprise.
IBM used to be on the forefront of consumer technology (although I realize they have always been kings of enterprise too), but now they are pretty much completely irrelevant to consumers.  Microsoft also dominated the consumer world, and now are losing relevance with consumers and moving to the enterprise focus - same thing with BlackBerry.
You have to wonder if it will be Google next to follow that path.

I guess it's just were the easy money is?

Sergey Posokhov

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Re: Big tech companies seem to always evolve away from consumers.
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2020, 10:51:18 am »
Yes, it is true.

Doug Bissett

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Re: Big tech companies seem to always evolve away from consumers.
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2020, 08:20:31 pm »
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IBM used to be on the forefront of consumer technology

IBM was never in the "consumer technology" business. It is totally amazing that the IBM PC ever made it past somebodies lips. Somebody understood what it was all about, and had enough clout to push it though.

I was working for IBM, when the PC was announced. I got one of the very first (16K expandable to 64K on the motherboard). Naturally, i was somewhat curious, and learned quite a bit about it. Our local management recognized the possibilities, but upper management looked upon it as being a "toy, that would never amount to anything". IBM never did figure out how to market the PC, and eventually just left that to others. Since their product was more expensive, other manufacturers eventually took the market, and IBM sold off most of the PC division to Lenovo (still believing that it was just a "toy"). OS/2 got caught up in all of that, and eventually they dropped it, thinking they would save a few dollars.

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I guess it's just were the easy money is?

That seems to be what is driving all business today. I guess you can't blame them, that is what they are taught in school. In the old days, IBM was at the forefront of technology (main frames, not PCs), and they spent huge amounts on R&D (not just for computers), and there was a stock split about every 4th year. After the bean counters got control of the company, profits went up, but R&D was almost abandoned. The stock has not changed much, since then, even though IBM still owns the rights to a lot of the old research that was patented. So, which is the right way to go? Those who want instant profits go with the easy money. Those who look ahead, at the possibilities, could still make the big money, but it is more work (and expense) to get there. It is also much harder to get the funding, because banks, and the average person, have no idea what those possibilities are, so they won't invest. IMO, we have lost a lot of innovation because business is chasing the easy money. Are we better off? Of course not, but the bean counters are still running things.

David Kiley

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Re: Big tech companies seem to always evolve away from consumers.
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2020, 10:57:38 am »
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IBM used to be on the forefront of consumer technology

IBM was never in the "consumer technology" business. It is totally amazing that the IBM PC ever made it past somebodies lips. Somebody understood what it was all about, and had enough clout to push it though.

I get your point but if it meant to or if it was by accident, it did majorly impact the consumer world - even if it was just the reality of IBM clones which became the personal computer as we know it now.
I'm not surprised that IBM had trouble though - it reminds me of Xerox having no idea what to do with PARC or how Hewlett Packard declined to do anything with the Woz personal computer :).
We are lucky IBM hired Microsoft to make OS/2  ::). A lot of great things IBM made, like SmartSuite, were colossal failures if you are just counting beans.

 
« Last Edit: February 19, 2020, 11:01:34 am by David Kiley »

Laurence Pithie

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Re: Big tech companies seem to always evolve away from consumers.
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2020, 02:21:43 pm »
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even if it was just the reality of IBM clones which became the personal computer as we know it now.
That had very little to do with IBM, I think it was Compaq who did the clean room reverse engineering of the IBM PC bios which allowed the IBM PC to be cloned.