Newton of Apple Computer
Mobile devices for Compaq ComputersAT&T; 's EO 440.
What are the common elements of these three disasters (
One of them never entered the market)?
"It's not the size that matters," said Jerry Kaplan, the sick founder. fated Go Corp.
Design software for "pen" PCs.
"This is a social question of how machines are used.
"Back in 1987, when Kaplan, the principal technical expert of Lotus Development, took a cross-continental plane with the chairman of Mitchell Kapoor, the two software Masters believed that what the world needed was a pen-type PC that did not require a keyboard.
"The PC is like an office device, like a typewriter," Kaplan said . ".
Kapor drags 27
Compaq on the plane needs an electronic diary for 286.
During that trip, two colleagues decided to set up a software company to design the right software operating system for pen PC.
Kapor has sponsored Kaplan at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, one of San Francisco's leading venture capital companies, whose success stories include Sun Microsystems and Tandem Computers.
The money went into use and fell into flames in 1992.
Kaplan, 43, tells the story of failure in "starting a business: Silicon Valley Adventure (
Howton Mifflin, $22. 95)
The problem with Go and PenPoint is not the company, but the time, he said. "In a start-
"Time is very important," recalls the alumni of Lotus, teknodge and the University of Pennsylvania information science program.
"We are a little earlier than we should.
Kaplan threw his personal leather combo on the table, expressing his view of the utility of the pen-style PC.
"In conversation, it seems to be a Amulet, a symbol of attention," he said . ".
With the enthusiasm of Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr and the commitment of the National Farm insurance order, Go raised up to $75 million in funding and gave PenPoint a role.
In the next four years, Go staff worked around the clock using Intel's 286 chip to produce a small tablet --
Size PC, enter the command accurately with electronic pen.
"One day someone called me to his cubicle and said 'Try this. '" he recalled '. ".
"I can take out a pen and write on the tablet.
This is a "eureka moment" that proves that the combination of chips and software is effective.
The problem is that Go is not alone.
Microsoft is still dominant in the field of personal computer operating systems, which is also very interested.
Kaplan talked about how Microsoft employees, including Chairman Bill Gates, called or suddenly visited to see how it was.
"The computer industry is having a philosophical debate," Kaplan said . ".
Microsoft believes that when we try to show that it is a completely different concept that requires a new operating system, the Pen "is just an additional peripheral added to the PC.
Go's people have designed a new operating system that captures the nuances of cursive and other dynamic movements.
At the 1991 PC Forum, the annual spring event hosted by venture capitalists and senior investor esther Dyson
Kaplan recalled that there was a "pen war" for tech Publishers ".
Go's Robert Carr demonstrates how PenPoint transcribe writing and commands on a tablet.
A few minutes later, Microsoft also came.
Kaplan recalled that he was surprised to see the scene. . .
We have developed so many concepts in their software.
"While he did not label Microsoft's theft of conduct, the book contains several accounts indicating that the software giant has acquired a lot of Go technology or bullied potential partners.
The Go founder says at least he feels like he's intellectually right because even Microsoft now believes
The system-based system requires a "local" system based on handwriting.
Apple groped for news from Newton in 1991 and 1992, "hurting the whole industry," because at that time-
Chair John Sculley cannot provide reliable products. "If you over-
Commitment to technology and deficiencies
"Delivered, you will be taken to the mission," Kaplan said . ".
Desperately seek and win the support of AT&T;
Own the Hobbit chip that runs PenPoint software and takes over EO.
Two reliable "personal communicators" were designed, EO 440 and E0 880.
Kaplan and Doerr planned a shotgun marriage between Go and EO while at & t;
Trying to develop a market for products that cost more than $1,000.
"We are proud of our creation," Kaplan recalls . ".
Still, Go and EO crashed and AT&T crashed;
Pull out the plug of the business.
Today, PenPoint software has become the "Walking Dead" of the software industry ".
It works fine but not at & t;
No one else is spending money on it.
"The people who can invest the most in improving and driving his technology are the winners," Kaplan said . ".
Meanwhile, the tech expert and author opened another company, Onsale, in Mountain View, California.
A company trying to sell consumer goods and services on the Internet.