Fable: The Murky Beginnings Of A Legend
One of the most revered figures in America’s high-tech history, seen as the founder of its greatest technology company, had an early job in his career at NCR where he was asked to go round the USA setting up used cash register shops.
NCR’s idea was to use these shops to undercut, and put out of business, the independent used cash register shops which were affecting NCR’s sales of new cash registers.
A phony company to manage these shops was incorporated with its own share certificates to distance itself from NCR even though it was set up and funded by NCR.
When a used cash register business looked like it was failing the phony company would buy it out and close it down.
The courts ruled the operation to be illegal.
The revered figure gained the confidence from heading up this operation to go on and do great things, building one of America’s largest and most long-lived companies, but he always retained a guilty conscience about what he had done at NCR.
Moral: Consciences are best when clear.