@redesign Path dependence and 20/20 hindsight on innovation raises challenges between long-term vision and backseat driving by immediate stakeholders. Stories of overnight success put don’t have an appreciation of the background contexts that enabled the innovation.  There’s the parallelism to the myth that a child shouldn’t give credit to his/her parents (in either success or failure).

Comment on Path Dependency of Innovation Platforms « Design Dialogues.

Yes,  Xerox could have created the most successful WIMP (Windows-Icons-Mouse-Pointers) personal computer from the Alto and Star.

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But really? There are many counterfactuals that do not work out.  Had Xerox gone ahead with a computer line,  they would have run smack into Apple’s rapidly moving marketing machine,  as well as the powerful IBM PC. People do not remember now that the first Mac (and Lisa) had relatively poor penetration.  Xerox would have split the cool early adopters with Apple. but businesses standardized on IBM and PC software almost exclusively.