Fable: Operating On The Edge

22 years ago a group spun out of Apple on the premise that computer companies, communications companies and consumer companies needed to co-operate to produce products. A brilliant name was adopted for the new company.

The company quickly recruited as partners and investors some of the industry's most glittering names: Sony, Matsushita, Motorola, Philips and AT&T among others.

An OS and a programming language were developed and, in 1994, AT&T and Motorola produced PDA-type products using handwriting recognition.

The company IPO'd in 1995, and the stock doubled on the opening day.

The products failed.

 In 1996, a new management team focussed on developing a system to support PDA-type devices with voice recognition, text-to-speech and multiple-language capability.

This was successful gaining 2.5 million users. The company's stock rose from $1 in 1997 to $18 in 2000.

Then the people who developed the system left, a new management team came in and two years later, in 2002, the company went out of business.

Moral: Working on the edge is a rough ride.



  1. SecretEuroPatentAgentMan

    Ah yes, who can forget the massive hype machine? And it looked good; agent technology that should provide you with endless agents working like you assistants or secretaries, negotiate best times for a meeting with the agents of everyone else as one use case suggested, and much more.
    Then the Internet became available to everyone.

  2. No Anonymous, Mark is right General Magic it was. Tho I think palm was one of many beneficiaries from work done by GM.

  3. Spot on Mark, General Magic it was

  4. Palm perhaps?

  5. General Magic

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