What made Xerox PARC special?

https://www.quora.com/What-made-Xerox-PARC-special-Who-else-today-is-like-them
Parc was highly concentrated with regard to wealth of talents, abilities, vision, confidence, and cooperation. There was no real management structure, so things were organized to allow researchers to “suggest” and “commit” and “decommit” in a more or less orderly fashion.

A few principles:

  1. Visions not goals
  2. Fund people not projects — the scientists find the problems not the funders. So, for many reasons, you have to have the best researchers.
  3. Problem Finding — not just Problem Solving
  4. Milestones not deadlines

I would call the first 5 years “effectively idyllic”. And the second 5 years “very productive but gradually erosive” (the latter due to Xerox’s many changes of management, and not being able to grapple with either the future, or a possible grand destiny for the company).

Here you can hear the opinion of Steve Jobs why they failed:
https://tmilinovic.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/steve-jobs-gets-the-point/

 

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