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The Rise of Amazon
the losses Amazon experienced in its first *21 quarters as a public company*. Over that time, cumulative net income was -$2.86 billion.
Amazon  qtr_calls  numbers  retail  history  links  via:Workflow 
6 weeks ago by cote
Why did we wait so long for the bicycle?
The key insight was to stop trying to build a mechanical carriage, and instead build something more like a mechanical horse.
Innovation  bicycles  history  links  via:Workflow 
9 weeks ago by cote
A Brief History of Agile, Part 1: The Rise of Waterfall
Ultimately, Waterfall’s biggest failing is that it puts its trust in a system, not the people working on a product.
Agile  waterfall  Pivotal  history  links  via:Workflow 
may 2019 by cote
VMware’s ongoing reinvention
Post server virtualization at VMware.
history  vmware 
february 2019 by cote
Video: To make 1997’s Blade Runner, Westwood first had to create the universe
> The genre reached its peak in the early to mid 1990s, with some of the best-remembered LucasArts and Sierra titles making their appearance thereabouts.
bladerunner  history  games  sierra 
february 2019 by cote
The Rise and Demise of RSS
> Unfortunately, syndication on the modern web still only happens through one of a very small number of channels, meaning that none of us “retain control over our online personae” the way that Werbach imagined we would. One reason this happened is garden-variety corporate rapaciousness—RSS, an open format, didn’t give technology companies the control over data and eyeballs that they needed to sell ads, so they did not support it. But the more mundane reason is that centralized silos are just easier to design than common standards. Consensus is difficult to achieve and it takes time, but without consensus spurned developers will go off and create competing standards. The lesson here may be that if we want to see a better, more open web, we have to get better at working together.

Kind of an overly complex conclusion. I'd say RSS died out because companies make a lot more money by keeping in their platform. There's no way Facebook would bank so much if they were distributed (via RSS) versus centralized. By cutting off good API access, Twitter has been making this same move. There may be money in distributed content, for sure, but not as much as the golden handcuffs of Facebook's model.

Profits killed RSS, plain and simple.
RSS  history  Web2.0 
january 2019 by cote
The Demise of Blockbuster, and Other Failure Fairy Tales
Strategy is hard, execution at the middle-management later is harder.

> What’s missing from the story is that PARC delivered on its mission. In fact, it saved Xerox from the fate of Kodak. While its copier business was disrupted by smaller Japanese competitors like Canon and Ricoh, one component of the Star system, the laser printer, replaced the revenues lost from its cash cow and Xerox continued to grow. It also earned millions from licensing technology it invented and, it should be noted, from its investment in Apple.
strategy  deathmarch  history 
october 2018 by cote
When Concorde was the future
“Concorde was pitched at the business set of the 1970s, with all of its 106 seats priced at first-class levels. With its own dedicated lounge at the airports it served, even the check-in and waiting experience was luxurious: possibly more so than the aircraft itself, which despite its leather seating had tiny windows, a low cabin ceiling and similar knee room to today’s economy class. Pop stars were frequent flyers: Concorde famously (or infamously) allowed Phil Collins to play both the London and Philadelphia sites of Live Aid on the same day in 1985.”
jets  history  travel 
september 2018 by cote
Res Obscura: Nassim Nicholas Taleb vs. Historians
“But again, leaving these points aside - Taleb is arguing with a nonexistent group of people here. He has somehow convinced himself that academic historians are a bunch of nerds sitting in library stacks, getting angry at current events, and channeling their frustration about the world into a vision of the past that sees everything as conflict, and ignores all the fun collaborations between barbers, prostitutes, and merchants. This is precisely the opposite of the vision of academic history that I got from grad school, and the vision that I teach in my classes at UC Santa Cruz. Now, keep in mind that I'm arguing from my own experiences here and those of my most outspoken friends, and hence I assume that Taleb, if he reads this, will accuse me of "overfitting" as well. But I have to wonder - what is he basing his expertise on? A public spat with Mary Beard and perhaps a few bad encounters in NYU hallways, squared against Taleb's newfound love for Bloch, Braudel, and A History of Private Life.”

Summary: citations. Always include citations.
history  taleb 
july 2018 by cote
WSO2 CEO Tyler Jewell: Ballerina and the End of Middleware
WSO2 revenue: “The company will do probably around $50 million in sales this year. We’ll grow 60 percent year over year.”

And, on Quest’s venture portfolio during the Dell acquisition:

‘About that same time, Quest was getting acquired by Dell. And then Vinny calls up one day. He was starting a venture capital company and asked if I would like to get involved. He owned 30 or 40 percent of Quest, so he made a huge fortune. I’m like “Well, Vinny, that sounds really interesting, but I’ve just decided to start this company Codenvy. We’re really excited about it. We’re gonna go build this Cloud IDE.” And he says, “Great. Come on board as a partner. Manage our dev ops investments, and we’ll make Codenvy one of our investments as well.”

‘And so sure enough, he launches Toba Capital, and he buys back all the investments from Dell. So all the investments that Quest had, Dell didn’t have an investment arm. And so there’s a dozen or so out there, WSO2 and Sauce Labs and a couple others. And he just buys ’em back. And then he starts investing more into these companies. And at that point in time started investing more aggressively in WSO2, and I joined its board. And Toba eventually increased its position over time pretty significantly. And I was involved in about four or five different boards on these dev ops companies while I was running Codenvy from 2012 to 2017.’
revenue  wso2  m&a  divestatures  codeenvy  history  quest  dell 
july 2018 by cote
Microsoft’s Container Strategy Continues To Evolve
Overview of Microsoft’s history with containers, in Windows.
microsoft  windows  containers  history 
july 2018 by cote
Below the surface, Amsterdam
Centuries of stuff found in the ground.
Amsterdam  history  museums 
june 2018 by cote
The full-time job of keeping up with Kubernetes
“In practice and actual fact, what really matters for older Kubernetes version support is the continued availability and exercising of its end-to-end testing pipeline. If the machinery to quickly update an old release continues to exist, and exist in a state of good (non-flakey) repair, cutting a patch release is just a matter of someone – you, your provider or your vendor – having the engineering gumption to push it through. If a critical security fix isn’t back-ported to an older Kubernetes version, that’s a strong sign that no reasonably professional team is using that version in production anymore.”
history  testing  opensource  cloudnative  kubernetes 
june 2018 by cote
The axes of HomePod evolution: don’t judge what you can’t yet see
“it’s important to bear in mind how every single Apple product tends to evolve: from MVP, aka minimal viable product, to thing that people buy by the million.”
mvp  apple  history  homepod  voice  design 
april 2018 by cote
OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong
“Ames says the real question isn’t whether laptop programs help students, but whether they’re more effective than other programs competing for the same money. “I think that given unlimited funding, absolutely ... Learning about technology is very important,” she says. “That said, there’s always a tradeoff. There’s always some project that will be defunded or de-emphasized as a result of this.”

Thirteen years ago, OLPC told the world that every child should get a laptop. It never stopped to prove that they needed one.”
education  history  olpc  hardware 
april 2018 by cote
Why Zuckerberg’s 14-Year Apology Tour Hasn’t Fixed Facebook
“There is no other way to interpret Facebook’s privacy invading moves over the years—even if it’s time to simplify! finally!―as anything other than decisions driven by a combination of self-serving impulses: namely, profit motives, the structural incentives inherent to the company’s business model, and the one-sided ideology of its founders and some executives. All these are forces over which the users themselves have little input, aside from the regular opportunity to grouse through repeated scandals.”
techeithics  privacy  facebook  history 
april 2018 by cote
Cutting ‘Old Heads’ at IBM
“ProPublica estimates that in the past five years alone, IBM has eliminated more than 20,000 American employees ages 40 and over, about 60 percent of its estimated total U.S. job cuts during those years.”
work  layoffs  scandal  age  labor  history  IBM 
march 2018 by cote
How Tech Companies Became a Political Force
“When tech leaders prophesy a utopia of connectedness and freely flowing information, they do so as much out of self-interest as belief. Rather than a decentralized, democratic public square, the internet has given us a surveillance state monopolized by a few big players. That may puzzle technological determinists, who saw in networked communications the promise of a digital agora. But strip away the trappings of Google’s legendary origins or Atari’s madcap office culture, and you have familiar stories of employers versus employees, the maximization of profit, and the pursuit of power. In that way, at least, these tech companies are like so many of the rest.”
books  techethics  history  Tech 
march 2018 by cote
Gin Sling, Recipe and History
'Gin sling. What a suggestive cocktail name. If it evokes the image of tossing back a drink, you’re not far from the truth, as it has been surmised that the gin sling drink stems from the German verb schlingen. This little story dates far back into American Cocktail History, as an article from the New York Times on July 15, 1883 states: as regards gin sling, if there be any foundation for the supposition that the word “sling” is derived from the German “schlingen,” to gulp or swallow hastily, the transatlantic sling may have originally been a “short” drink or dram.'
cocktails  words  booze  history  german 
february 2018 by cote
Women Once Ruled Computers. When Did the Valley Become Brotopia?
“There is another story to tell: that Google’s success had at least as much to do with women like Wojcicki, Sandberg, and—her controversial tenure as CEO of Yahoo! notwithstanding—Mayer. Each of them brought wider skill sets to the company in its earliest days. If subsequent managers at Google understood this lesson, that might have quieted the grumbling among engineers who had a narrow idea of what characteristics made for an ideal employee. Google’s early success proved that diversity in the workplace needn’t be an act of altruism or an experiment in social engineering. It was simply a good business decision.”
diversity  history  techethics  gender  google 
february 2018 by cote
Who Killed Sears? 50 Years on the Road to Ruin
Sears used to be into some weird shit:

In 1984, together with International Business Machines Corp. and (for a time) CBS Inc., the company created what would become Prodigy, a pre-Web online portal. Built on a private network, it was distinct from the Internet, but presaged it in many ways, offering email, games, news, weather, sports and shopping…. In 1992, when Sears' revenues reached $59 billion, the company announced plans to simplify its structure. It took parts of Dean Witter and Allstate public, then distributed the remaining shares to investors. It discontinued its famous catalog in 1993 and sold Prodigy in 1996. Having sunk over $1 billion into the project between them, Sears and IBM received less than $200 million from the sale. Sears also sold Coldwell Banker, along with other financial services subsidiaries.
sears  m&a  strategy  history  retail 
january 2018 by cote
7 Ways Kubernetes Avoids an OpenStack-Like Hype Cycle - The New Stack
“the APIs are the interaction point for users, not the code. That said, I think Kubernetes is helped by the use of a single language, Golang, and NOT having multiple distribution sources.”
community  history  kubernetes 
december 2017 by cote
IBM: when corporations took care of their employees
Hey, I'm an IBM-a-file, so what's not to like here?
ibm  history  audio  NPR  marketplace  labor  HR 
june 2016 by cote
IBM's Steve Mills retires
40 years at IBM, straight out of college. He built up the software group, then ended up managing hardware was well: the article says he was running $40bn of business for IBM. Also, he was an awesome interlocutor at analyst events: a fun character on the drama of the IT industry!
SteveMills  SWG  wp  history  IBM  execs 
january 2016 by cote
Five years of Sun software under Oracle: Were the critics right?
Could do with some revenue or marketshare charts, eh? Perhaps the RedMonk programming language index to show Java still prominent? The question is: did Oracle make a good return on buying Sun?
Oracle  sunw  m&a  history 
january 2015 by cote
CotéIndustries.com
For electronic recipients of Computergram International the last story is a little difficult. The nearest this electronic sub editor can get is to ask you to imagine the Old Spice advert, except that rather than a muscular antipodean on a surf board, you should imagine a muscular antipodean on an 80286 upgrade board. For those who cannot allow their imagination to extend this far, refer to the hardcopy C.I. or the Hypertec Pty press release (enough said).
history  oldspice  technews  via:ifttt  from:tumblr  quote  tumblr:quote 
september 2014 by cote
Novell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I’ve been reading up on Novell’s history. So far it’s got some fascinating twists and turns. Wikipedia sums up the turning point well: The inclusion of networking as a core system component in all mainstream PC operating systems after 1995 led to a steep decline in Novell’s market share. That is, once networking become “commoditized,” the unique position Novell had with IPX changed. And then there’s some channel hijinks that happened. I’m also obsessed with figuring out what went wrong at Sun in the 2000s - Novell seems like some good mental training wheels for that.
via:ifttt  from:tumblr  Novell  history  decline  deathmarch  link  tumblr:link 
august 2014 by cote
Early 1990s Software Development Tools for Microsoft Windows
I remember that I bought a boz of Turbo Pascal when I was teenager, before I knew how to program. It aas bewildering of course, and so I never did anything with it. By the time I was actually programming, one didn't pay for tools.
dailywrap  floppies  programming  history 
july 2014 by cote
CotéIndustries.com
And if you guys remember, JavaWorld 2000, 2001. Remember when they hired Britney Spears to be the spokesperson for Java.com? Like the world’s worst effort to attempt to be kind of this emotive brand. It was awful.
devrel  BritneySpears  Java  history  Sun  sunw  via:ifttt  from:tumblr  quote  tumblr:quote 
june 2014 by cote
CotéIndustries.com
In the early years MS-DOS versions up to version 5 sold for a relatively high price, of the order of US$1,000, but the executable Terminate-and-Stay-Resident (TSR) database engine file could be distributed with applications without payment of any licence fee.
history  databases  Actian  Pervasive  DOS  via:ifttt  from:tumblr  quote  tumblr:quote 
april 2014 by cote
BMC & BladeLogic are at ChefConf 2014 (right now!) | Server Automation
So we’ve built some first-generation integration between Chef and BladeLogic 8.5, which we’re demoing in our booth for the first time here at ChefConf. You can use BladeLogic to call Chef cookbooks and recipes on a push/scheduled basis, and you can reference BladeLogic compliance policies from inside your Chef cookbooks. It’s all very early and not production-ready, but we want to put this integration front and center with the people here at ChefConf and start a conversation about how they want to blend these two approaches to a stable, managed IT infrastructure. BladeLogic plays an interesting role in the history of the Puppet/Chef/etc. automation world. As I recall, Puppet’s founder Luke Kanies worked on Blade for a short while and, you know, was interested in a better way, which eventually led to Puppet. Also, for those who like startup culture books, Blade was the chief rival of Opsware, where many of the stories in The Hard Thing About Hard Things come from.
via:ifttt  from:tumblr  history  BMC  bladelogic  automation  Puppet  chefcon  link  tumblr:link 
april 2014 by cote
IBM System/360: The Original Enterprise Tech
IBM System/360: The Original Enterprise Tech, nice chunk of IT history
ibm  history  systemi 
april 2014 by cote
CotéIndustries.com • new-aesthetic: "Sometime in 1987, you were...
new-aesthetic: "Sometime in 1987, you were sitting on a beach in Bora Bora, looking at To’opua island, enjoying a holiday with a very serious boyfriend. The serious boyfriend, John, took a photograph of you sitting on the beach, not wearing your bikini top. John later became your husband and father to your children Sarah, Lisa, Alex and Jane. "This photograph of a beautiful moment in your personal history has also become a part of my history, and that of many other people; it has even shaped our outlooks on the world at large. John’s image of you became the first image to be publicly altered by the most influential image manipulation program ever. […] "I still wonder if you felt the world change there on that beach. The fact that reality would be more moldable, that normal people could change their history, brighten up their past, and put twirl effects on their faces? That holiday image was distributed with the first demo editions of Photoshop, and your intimate beach moment became the reality for many people to play with. Two Jennifers, no Jennifer, less clouds, etc. In essence, it was the very first photoshop meme—but now the image is nowhere to be found online." Rhizome | A Letter to Jennifer Knoll, via Caspar V. A little piece of digital photo history.
photoshop  history  beaches  clipart  via:ifttt  from:tumblr  tumblr:photo  photo 
september 2013 by cote
Would You Eat Chop Suey From White Castle?
> Fries were a popular snack served on their own in the U.S. before World War II, but it wasn’t until White Castle included them with their meals in the 1940s that they became inextricably linked with the hamburger.
via:ifttt  from:tumblr  food  history  whitecastle  frenchfries  link  tumblr:link 
september 2013 by cote
Programma 101 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It is usually considered a printing programmable calculator or desktop calculator because three years later the Hewlett-Packard 9100A, a model that took inspiration from the P101, was advertised by HP as a “portable calculator”, in order to be able to overcome the fears of computers and be able to sell it to corporations without passing through the corporate computer department.
via:ifttt  from:tumblr  history  pcs  procurment  branding  link  tumblr:link 
september 2013 by cote
How Zynga went from social gaming powerhouse to has-been | Ars Technica
Cyrus Farivar has a long piece on the rise and fall(?) of Zynga in Ars. Lots of delightful little bits on maxing the viruses and Zombies: " I got a turbo education on how to do the viral marketing," he said. "It’s where you design features to be more social: go accomplish this with your friends. How can I make this fun, especially asynchronously, and how can I get people to invite more people? What was good and transformative about FarmVille [was that] it brought in tens of millions of adults who had never played [games] ever. It opened up casual light entertainment, and not time sensitive gaming, to 100 million people." As the title here suggests, it reminded me of “gamification”: how can you make boring things in your software fun so that users (read: people) use it more effectively. I’m never sure if it panned out for white-collar work. I’m note sure filling out quarterly performance reviews or weekly sales data could ever be “fun.” It’s kind of fun in Foursquare and other places that outsource (mostly meatspace) data collection. Also, awesome quote on being too data driven: I had a PM tell me—many times—that they “couldn’t get data on fun.”
via:ifttt  from:tumblr  Zynga  gaming  history  profiles  execs  marketing  viralmarkeing  ham  gamification  link  tumblr:link 
september 2013 by cote
CotéIndustries.com • The tempo of life was slow, even leisurely; the...
The tempo of life was slow, even leisurely; the pace of work relaxed. Our ancestors may not have been rich, but they had an abundance of leisure.
work  history  vacartion  via:ifttt  from:tumblr  quote  tumblr:quote 
september 2013 by cote
This Russian Software Is Taking Over the Internet | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
Started in 2002, and then: By 2005, there were maybe 100 users, but it was hard for English speakers to figure out how to get up and running. Most of the project’s documentation was in Russian and so was the its most active discussion list. But in 2006, Engish speakers started posting to Ngnx’s discussion list, even as Russian language speakers in the U.S. and other countries helped the project spread, sharing configuration files on blogs and helping to translate the complex documentation so others could pick it up. …According to Netcraft, Nginx accounts for more than 40 percent of the 12 million websites that run on Amazon’s cloud computing service
via:ifttt  from:tumblr  marketshare  Nginx  webservers  web  history  opensource  numbers  link  tumblr:link 
september 2013 by cote
How Novell peaked, then threw it all away in a year
"The usual situation when companies grow like this is that execs assume it is their own godlike genius that has created the situation, and begin behaving accordingly."
novell  history  disruption 
july 2013 by cote
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