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Marketing 233

Chapter 11 includes the story of Gensym, which succeeded by understanding and focusing exclusively on process-control applications.

Trying to Establish a Technology Monopoly

The case of Teknowledge also demonstrates the flawed approach of starting up with the intention of creating a technology monopoly by cornering the market on all the bright people. It is impossible to achieve a technology monopoly. Attempting to hire all the "smartest" people in a new area in order to prevent the formation of competitive companies is a dream derived from biotechnology start-up strategies. The supply of top-quality individuals, albeit finite, is large, and all the ones who weren't asked to join the new venture are natural, highly motivated candidates for starting competitive firms.

Attempting to Establish an Always-Emerging Market

An emerging market is unable to support a very long, slow market development with accompanying incremental product tuning. As such, taken over a decade or longer, the market is still emerging. Market development maybe limited by the need to change basic institutions or processes or to create a generation of potential users. The ultimate product cannot be built; instead, over time, partial products are introduced that chip away, niche by niche, at what is perceived to be the true market.

One of the greatest temptations is to attempt to define an obvious, previously untapped market that the availability of compelling new technology (e.g., multimedia for computers) would appear to make possible. Computer-aided instruction (CAI) epitomizes a market that has been emerging for a quarter of a century. Computers have made incredible progress in aiding learning. One of the simplest, yet least obvious, uses is a "help" menu that enables a user to learn about a system. Other forms of training include industrial simulators for power plants, aircraft, military-game simulation, computer simulation of industrial firms and cities, educational games, industrial courses, and computerized instruction in the classroom. However, a general program to provide ordinary classroom instruction(or even replace the instructor) at all elementary, high-school, and college levels still remains elusive, even though the need for such assistance would appear evident, in view of American students' poor ability to learn such subjects as mathematics.

Plato and computer-aided instruction. In 1965, Professor Don Bitzer at the University of Illinois and Control Data Corporation built a system, Plato, for supplying computer-aided instruction. Bill Norris, the president of CDC, was its chief proponent and salesman. CDC invested several hundred million dollars to

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