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.

Tags: 5 million, programming language

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  1. SecretEuroPatentAgentMan
    September 09, 2012 20:06

    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. David Manners
    September 06, 2012 16:04

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

  3. David Manners
    September 06, 2012 15:56

    Spot on Mark, General Magic it was

  4. Anonymous
    September 06, 2012 15:26

    Palm perhaps?

  5. Mark Inskip
    September 06, 2012 15:21

    General Magic

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