Re: [Wash Post] Amazon.Com Buys 2 Online Start-Ups.

Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Thu, 06 Aug 1998 08:54:40 -0700

> I guess this is the cheapest way to do R&D in the computer industry.
> And I guess most people involved do well when their company gets bought.
> So I suppose I should be happier about the continual mergers in this
> industry -- or in telecom, or in entertainment, or in media -- than I
> actually am.

If you have the time, I recommend 'Crossing the Chasm'. It's one of those
hot selling Silicon Valley bible books that will soon be out of vogue
but has been pretty hot this year despite coming out in paperback
in 1995.

It has to do with technology transition between high tech ideas that
have sex appeal to transitioning them to something that actually
generates value and return on investment in the technology.

I have another model than the "whole product model". It's called WTF.
It's based on the belief that marketing people are vapid and narrow.
It's also based on the belief that small companies are a source
of innovation for large companies and that the flowergardend approach to
R&D is better than sinking money into "the black hole" of research
[McNealy], creative scientists aren't very good at engineering
products, and that the quickest path to academic freedom is to
have lots of money. In turn, the quickest path to having lots of
money is to get bought out. Where does this lead to? All this
convinces me that, if you found a company completely on research,
someone will eventually buy you out. Not products involved, only
high tech research and innovations. Eventually someone will
come to you willing to pay top dollar to leapfrog their competition.
When the survival of a big company is at stake, price is no object.
Brain trusts are where it's at.