This is another outtake from my book, The Flight of a Wild Duck. In April 1983, I left Digital Equipment Corporation, where I headed the development of that company’s Professional Series Computers to join Franklin Computer as Chief Operating Officer. However, in reality, I function a the CEO. I had considered starting my own company, …
Intel just announced that it would close the Hudson Manufacturing Facility it acquired from Digital Equipment Corp in 1997. The press release from Intel said “the Hudson plant has been used to make a variety of low-end chips found in many electronic devices.” The closure of this plant will not mean much to people other than the thousand or so people directly affected. The exception to this are the few pioneers who vision and drive created it in the first place. They dared to dreamed big and lost. While they understood the potential of semi-conductor technology and large scale integration, like all of us at that time, they did not understand that the computer industry was about to be turned sideway and that companies that were vertically integrated would fail like Digital would fail.
Evidently, Yahoo will close down Alta Vista on July 8th, the Internet search company it acquired in 2003. This is the second time Yahoo has killed Alta Vista. Let me explain.
The House Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Protection convened a 2 1/2 hour meeting to discuss HDTV standards and deployment issues on April 24, 1998. I was invited to give testimony. The panel was made up of a large group of executives representing the consumer electronics, the television broadcast and the cable industries. In addition there were two representatives from the computer industry, Bob Stearns from Compaq and me, from Intel. The chair was Billy Tamzin, a republican who later went on to make a fortune as a lobbyist. The ranking member from the democrats was Ed Markey (now running for the Senate in MA). Stearns and I had a couple of objectives. While most of the panel saw a TV, we saw a Monitor. We understood that with that if we could achieve high resolution and progressive scan, the HDTV set of the future could serve as a monitor for computers. Just like the CD and DVD, the consumer industry do the R&D and and manufacturing of important and innovative products which the computer industry would “highjack” for its own use. Everyone one on the panel had their own agenda and often it was a secret agenda.