Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Mac's History and Our Future

The interview with Andy Herzfeld, who was on the orignal Mac team, is very intriguing. A very worthwhile read. I worked with Andy a little bit in 1992 and 1993 when he was at General Magic and I at EO. We were trying to get Telescript running on PenPoint and we did.

Most interesting is how Andy compares the Mac project to the Lisa project: one done as a passion, the other more like a job. Also this quote:
What do you think the challenges are for the PC industry?
The biggest, most important challenge is renormalizing after the nightmare of Windows. You can see the handwriting on the wall--the Wintel thing hasn't run its course yet, but it's run enough of its course that we're on the downhill side and you can kind of see the end of it.
Yes, it's about time. Microsoft's products overshoot customer requirements so much for so long (how many use more than 10% of all the features of Word or Excel?) it's just unconceivable. On the other hand, it's just amazing to see Microsoft Project is still a stand-alone product (in a sizeable project, the project manager either doesn't use Microsoft Project at all because of the high overhead or does the full-time job of consolidating status from team members into this one Project file).

If you read The Innovator's Dilemma, you know it's time for some discruptively innovative products to topple the incumbent. History tends to repeat itself.