Re: It's IBM dummy

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From: Stephen D. Williams (
Date: Tue May 08 2001 - 12:05:34 PDT

Jeff Bone wrote:
> Tom wrote:
> > On Tue, 8 May 2001, Lucas Gonze wrote:
> >
> > --]Maybe it is a jihad, Tom. So what -- nothing wrong with believing in something.
> Actually, that entirely depends on context. IMO, if you're in a position of making
> strategic decisions for a corporate entity, it's "wrong" to put ignore market reality
> and put your own "religious" preferences (i.e., OS choices in product decisions) ahead
> of fiduciary and shareholder value considerations.
> $0.02,
> jb

There is a fine, sometimes non-existant, line between 'religious
preferences' and 'visionary insight' into what the market reality WILL
be. Interpretation of present market reality is likewise uneven.

I was evangelizing the Internet in 1990 and 1991 (Chicago "Rural
Datification Conference", etc.) while chosing to start an ISP instead of
a BBS. Bank of America imported me from Dayton, Ohio to Concord for 6
months because they couldn't find anyone in the Bay Area that knew
anything about all of: web servers, firewalls, email, and DEC/Solaris
systems. I argued for Internet email over CCMail, MCI Mail, X.400, etc.
for several years in the early 1990's. I have an article from Byte at
home entitled "Why Internet Email will Never be Used for Business". I
argued for C in 1984/85 when the engineers wanted to use Pascal at the
same time I chose Unix over VMS. Far more often than not I'm right very
early in the cycle.

The key is not knowing what the current accepted wisdom is, it is
knowing what it will be ahead of time. There is an unknown probability
that you will select obsolete technology (pretty high for any particular
MS API) just as there is an unknown probability that your vision of the
future will be either off or delayed. Life is all about educated
guesses, or rather probablistic decisions with continously estimated
risk vectors.

Once you see strong trends, extrapolation is natural. Of course there
are always many unknowns that make it all interesting.


Stephen D. Williams
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 

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