[PW] Kenneth Olsen Computer Quote (Quotation Query #745)
betwys1 at sbcglobal.net
Sun May 8 16:51:02 PDT 2016
On 5/8/2016 1:52 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
> I explored this quotation a few years ago, but have not yet written an
> entry for the QI website.
> It appears that circa 1983 Olsen made a somewhat similar (but
> distinct) flawed pronouncement about personal computers: "The personal
> computer will fall flat on its face in business" in Business Week.
While we are on the topic of Ken Olsen and Digital, I should chip in
with something in a similar vein.
The 70's were Digital's glory days, with an annual growth rate as high
as 25% pa at times.
It was my duty to visit Maynard Mass. each year and mingle, as well as
visiting numerous Final Assembly plants across Europe. Ken was
well-loved, and people knew about his history of working the Lightning
graphic computer at Lincoln Lab before launching a plug-in business,
then a 12 bit processor and soon the 16 bit processor which did a land
The word from the folks who worked around him at the Mill,
and about the only
thing anyone would say was not genius level: when design guys drew his
attention to the microprocessor chips - 4004,8008,8080 etc coming from
Intel as a question of competitive concern, it is said he called them
"just a component".
The design group could see a tidal wave coming.
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