The U.S. computer industry is dying and I’ll tell you exactly who is killing it and why

18326481-empty-computer-room-abandoned-building-basement-sf-old-mintThis is my promised third column in a series about the effect of H-1B visa abuse on U.S. technology workers and ultimately on the U.S. economy. This time I want to take a very high-level view of the problem that may not even mention words like “H-1B” or even “immigration,” replacing them with stronger Anglo-Saxon terms like “greed” and “indifference.” The truth is that much (but not all) of the American technology industry is being led by what my late mother would have called “assholes.” And those assholes are needlessly destroying the very industry that made them rich. It started in the 1970s when a couple of obscure academics created a creaky logical […]

Apple proves that moats are for dummies

moatAs we all know, Apple last week announced two new iPhones, a payment service (ApplePay), and a line of Apple Watches that require iPhones to work. There’s not much I can say about these products that you can’t read somewhere else. They are bigger and better than what preceded them and — in the case of ApplePay and the AppleWatch — just different. They are all topnotch products that will stand out in the market and have good chances of being successful. So instead of writing about products we already know about, I’d like to write about moats to protect products from competition.

Moats, as you know, are defensive fortifications typically built to surround castles, making them […]

Lessons from Redmond

Once DOS became the de facto PC desktop standard in the 1980s, Microsoft perfected a technique called “embrace and extend” and sometimes “embrace, extend, and extinguish.” The idea was to adopt outside technologies, extend DOS to include them, then eliminate as a competitor  the original developer of the technology. This was before Microsoft figured out that it actually needed third-party developers.

Lots of utilities became part of DOS and later Windows this way (remember Stac electronics?). They were initially provided for free to Redmond by their authors with the idea that users would upgrade to a paid version, only users mainly didn’t upgrade because good enough was, well, good enough. So the originating companies then tended to […]

By |March 14th, 2012|2012|52 Comments