Shannon’s post set me thinking about the odd & perhaps correct clock maker. And it took me back to 1983. We decided to computerize our typing service; my sister visited with the salesman (she ran the business while I had my middle child). As in so much, I think she made the correct choice: we both liked the TI models better but went with IBM, which appeared more flexible and accessible. We needed equipment that several part-time typists a day would work on, typists who came and went for a semester or two.
First, I’m curious about our impression: was it right? Second, if this was true, was it an example of technology that might have been better but because it was less compatible and flexible, did not succeed? In other words, the best clock might be difficult to fix because it is unusual. Of course, I’m sure that an ego can get in the way of common sense. (My brother was convinced of the importance of an invention – not his own so I doubt his ego was heavily involved – for which his company owned the patent; he wanted to buy them out & manufacture it. They didn’t want to sell it nor use it.) Good products for various reasons that have little to do with their quality can fail to find a market (cost, for instance, or a really lousy sales plan).
A month or so ago, we watched Tucker: The Man and His Dream; surely conspiracies by the competition are not common, but, then, that, too, is another question.