Fable: The Company Which Stuck To Its Knitting

In 1951 there were four companies in the world making transistors. All of them American. One of these dominated the market producing, in 1952, more transistors for the open market than any other company.

By March 1953, the company was producing 10,000 transistors a month which sold for $9 each, and every last one of them went into hearing aids.

The company never managed to get into any other market.

By 1955 it had dropped out of the ranks of top ten transistor manufacturers.

By 1957, it still had 80% of the market for transistors for hearing aids but had fallen well behind the leaders in total transistor volumes going into multiple other applications.

Moral: Pervasiveness is the life-blood of the semiconductor industry.



  1. ah ok – the knitting comment through me 🙂

  2. Well actually I was writing about Raytheon, Mike

  3. If you mean Singer then they also supplied the transistors for their own radios.

    And until the 2SB737 and the like came along one of theirs was the lowest noise solution for mic amps.

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