Fable: Dogs & Tricks

30 years ago a country decided it wanted to get more involved in the golden new world of ICs.

The country’s biggest telecommunications company set up a semiconductor subsidiary.


The country’s biggest defence manufacturer set up a jv with a US chip company.


The country’s biggest glass-maker set up a jv with another US chip company.


The country’s biggest oil-field services company bought a US chip company.


All these ventures failed, though some of the failures were absorbed into other companies.


MORAL: Old dogs can’t learn new tricks.

Tags: fable

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  1. Mr Cynical
    February 18, 2013 13:04

    Pilkington is no more, it’s now called NSG and is Japanese.

  2. SecretEuroPatentAgentMan
    February 16, 2013 22:00

    Well, if you plan on advancing in the European part of Schlumberger, you’d better be fluent in French. At least that is how it was back when I had to deal with them. Much of the company culture also appears to be heavily influenced by French management style.

  3. David Manners
    February 15, 2013 15:31

    Ah Yes, interesting. Pilkington, like St Gobain, also a glass-maker. Schlumberger ambi-national. Gec and Plessey big defence companis. The parallels are surprisingly close.

  4. Mike Bryant
    February 15, 2013 15:15

    ah – I was thinking Plessey, GEC, Pilkington and Schlumberger (who aren’t French or British really)

  5. David Manners
    February 15, 2013 13:05

    No Mike those bold initiatives – Eurotechnique, Matra-Harris Semiconducteurs, Mietec, Schlumberger’s purchase of Fairchild – came from our Gallic chums across the Channel.

  6. Mike Bryant
    February 15, 2013 12:56

    I was assuming the ‘country’ was us.

  7. David Manners
    February 14, 2013 22:36

    Oh Yes indeed, Mike, like us with Inmos the French gained a lot from these ‘failed’ initiatives.

  8. Mike Bryant
    February 14, 2013 21:54

    Quite a few spin-offs from that lot as well !

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