The Failure of : When a Vision Is Not Enough

Jonathan Coopersmith TexasA&M University

In the lastdecade, fax machineshave revolutionized . We have becomeused to and dependentupon instantaneousinformation. Many peoplecannot conceive how theyworked without a fax .The question, however,arises: If the conceptis so good,why did nearlya centuryand a half elapsefrom the first patent in 1843 until rapid commercialdiffusion in the ? In actuality,attempts to commercializefacsimile extend back to the 1860s[5]. Its promotersspanned the spectrumfrom individualinventors, suchas and , to massivecorporations, such as and AT&T. Their most common feature until the mid-1980s was failure. The few successesoccurred not in generalcommunications but in dedicatedniche marketsand, evenhere, failuresflourished. Perhaps the questionshould be: In view of the dismalhistory of failures,why did so manypeople and companies pressahead? What motivatedindividuals and ill-msto commitresources to createnew marketsand technology,given the dauntinghistory that lay behind them? Failure,the lack of technicaland commercial success for a productin the marketplace,is endemicto innovativetechnologies. Failure is worthyof study if only to betterunderstand success. Historians of businessand technology acceptthis, but tend to focusmore on success. This lack of coveragedistorts our knowledgeof the businessprocess because failure is an integral,if not dominant, theme in the existenceof companies. Much scholarlywriting about failure concernshow entrepreneursovercame obstacles -- whethertechnical, economic, social,or political-- to succeed.The roadsnot takenor only partiallytraveled rarely are explored in depth [39]. Often a strong Whiggish whiff of technologicalor economicdeterminism can be detected. Whenlooking at failure,the rangeof potentialcauses is so wide that any easyanswers should be suspect.Failures occur for a multitudeof reasons, includingthe product,its institutionalframework, the market, or factorsbeyond immediatecontrol, such as monetarypolicy or war. Failure for one productor technologydoes not necessarilyimply successfor another,but competitionis probablythe mostimportant single factor to consider.Competition includes the battlefor resources,usually inside a finn or consortium,to developand bring a productto market,as well as amongproducts for the samemarket.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC HISTORY, VolumeTwenty-three. no. 1, Fall 1994. Copyright¸ 1994 by the BusinessHistory Conference. ISSN 0849-6825.

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Equally importantis the comparisonbetween the reality and the expectationsof entrepreneurs,customers, and other interestedparties. New technologiesare often greetedand promotedwith great enthusiasm. This enthusiasmcan become the prevailing wisdom, which can be quitemisplaced. One reason for such enthusiasm is the need to create a network of involved and committedsupporters. Creating such a successful,durable network is extremely difficult [4; 19]. Lack of supporterscan kill an innovation,but the oppositeproblem, too muchunqualified support, can produce technological or institutional"inertia," whereina technologyor groupremains basically unaffected by forcesexternal to its institutionalsetting. This inertia may enure the short-termexistence of the technologyor group,but its blindnessto changesmay ultimatelydegrade or destroyit [24]. The numerousunsuccessful attempts to develop and diffuse fax technologyover several decades provide an opportunity to studythe shaping and reshapingof a technologywhose potential, until recently,always exceeded its promise. This paperwill examinefour episodesin the historyof facsimile technology:public picture service in GreatBritain in the 1920s-30s, the -broadcastfacsimile newspaper of the 1930s-40s, projectsfrom the 1930sthrough the 1980s,and Federal Express' Zapmail in the 1980s. Theseare advancedfailures, cases where the sponsorsconsidered the technologysufficiently developed to taketo market.

Picture Telegraphy

Spurredby wartimeadvances in electronics,the 1920smarked a flowering of attemptsto transmitphotographs by wire andwireless. Led by Franceand Germany, the major European PTI's (Post, Telegraph and administrations)established picture telegraphy services starting in themid-1920s. The British Post Office, with somereluctance, started its servicein 1930. The forcesfavoring picture telegraphy included the companies promoting their wirephotoequipment, the PTTs usingthe equipmentwhich neededa networkof compatiblesystems to increasethe attractivenessof their investment, the actualusers, and post office employees enthusiastic about its potential. The engineeringdepartment saw in fax a possiblefuture meansof transmittingregular telegrams. Institutional and national pride also played a role. Failureto providesuch service would have opened the path for a privatefirm, "a coursewhich seemed open to severalobjections, one being that the agency most active in the matter was under American control." The most visible advocateswere the newspapers,which envisionedand realizedcompetitive advantagesin their battlesfor circulation[3, 3888 and 2553]. The mostserious argument against a picturetelegraphy service was the competingtechnology of air , which offereda lessrapid but still quick transmissionof photographs.Inside the PostOffice, picture telegraphy had to contendwith tight financesand the fear that it would harm the profitsof ordinarytelegrams. The conceptitself proved awkward at times. As a decade of operationsdemonstrated, few peopleand businessesneeded very rapid transmissionat a very high price when alternativeforms of 274

offeredrelatively quick service at lesscost. A phototelegramto Germanycost from oneto threepounds: An airmailletter cost four pencean ounce,or twice the costper word in a . The Post Office decided in summer 1929 to open a public picture telegraphyservice and purchase a -Karolusset. The Treasuryapproved the 6000 poundpurchase but warnedthat establishmentof a permanentservice would dependon its remunerativeness.Service officially beganon January7, 1930. Fromtransmission only with Berlin,the service quickly expanded to nine countries[3, 2874A, 3444 and4639]. Transmittinga 3 x 5 inchphotograph only took twenty minutes; however, the total time from acceptanceto deliveryaveraged two hours. The difference includedpreparation, waiting for an open line, and ensuringa connection. Unpredictabletransmission delays continuallyfrustrated users. Fax needed higherquality circuits than voice for accuratetransmission, so pictures often had to wait until a suitable trunk circuit became available. The new servicequickly ran into the all too commonproblem of overestimatingdemand and underestimating expenses. Traffic overthe decade averagedone to two transmissionsdaily compared with the six needed to cover costs.The serviceusually recouped only a sixthof its expenditures,leaving the PostOffice to swallowmost of the 3000-3500pound annual costs as well asthe original cost of the equipment. Nonetheless,postal officials strongly recommendedthat the Treasurycontinue to subsidizepicture telegraphy due "to the scientificimportance of the systemand its vogue abroad"as well as its "importantfuture possibilities." The Treasurydid [3, 3888]. Despiteefforts to promoteother uses, picture telegraphy's overwhelming marketwas newspaper pictures. Of the 157 picturetelegrams transmitted from Britain in 1931-32, pressagencies and newspaperssent 142 or 90% of all the photos[3, 5441]. Ironically,those papers that had campaigned in the late 1920s for a postalpicture telegraphy service had, by late 1930, purchasedtheir own .The majorusers decided that their volume justified owning their own machines, which permitted direct transmissioninto their photographic departments.In 1936, British newspapersowned 27 Siemens-Karolusand 10 Belin picturetelegraphy sets compared to the one setowned by the PostOffice [3, 3888 and 4877; 17]. Improvedairmail servicefrom the continentto Britain furtherlimited the potentialmarket for the expensivepicture telegraphy. Postal surveys of potential users found that "cheaperand sufficientlyrapid Air Mail Services"and newspaperownership of fax machineshad destroyedmost of their potential clients [3, 3405 and 3888]. The total numberof transmittedphotographs, both privateand public, grew from 387 in 1931-32 to 796 in 1938-39, and averagednearly 600 photographsannually. For specialoccasions, such as a Royal weddingor the 1936 Olympic games,the PTTs arrangedfor extra equipmentand close internationalcoordination to minimizedelays [3, 3888 and5211]. Engulfedby World War II, publicpicture telegraphy died almostwithout notice. The Post Office suspendedpublic service in May, 1940,owing to a lack of countrieswith which to correspond. 275

For the Post Office, picture telegraphy was a financial failure. Technicallyand politically, the systemworked and maintained British standing amongEuropean PTTs. Neithera largemarket nor the replacementof ordinary telegramsemerged. Yet a market did evolve in newspaperphotographs; however,the major customers, the newspapers,decided to cut outthe middleman and transmitdirectly amongthemselves. A similar evolutionoccurred in the UnitedStates where AT&T, afterseveral years of operatingits picture telegraphy service,sold the serviceto AssociatedPress in 1933to createAP . Althoughthe Post Office knew its picturetelegraphy operated at a largeloss, it madeno effort to shutthe service. The reasonsfor continuingstem from the realizationthat Britainwas participating in an internationalsystem of PTTs and thatit wouldlessen its reputation by withdrawingand lose a sayin shapingwhat promisedto be an importanttechnology of the future.

Western Union

WesternUnion offers the interestingexample of a companythat successfullyintegrated fax technologyinto its existingsystem of telegraphybut failed to conceiveof facsimile as an independentform of communication. Consequently,facsimile's leading developerand user from the 1930s-60s vanishedalmost completely from the evolvingfax marketin the 1970-80s. WesternUnion saw significantlong-term potential from facsimile. The majorperceived benefit was the exact reproduction of a telegraphicmessage, thus avoidingtransmission errors, cause of thecompany's expensive "Accuracy First" program. Other advantageswere lower labor costsby eliminatingoperators becauseof more automatedoperations, faster handling, and expanding service[23; 26]. WesternUnion did not beginto expendsignificant resources on facsimile technologyuntil 1935. Its researchersdeveloped two major linesof automatic equipment. The least visible was long distancetrunk circuits, where the equipmentoperated in WesternUnion offices. The secondline transmitted telegramsfrom a localWestern Union officedirectly to largeusers, eliminating courieroperations. The latterconsisted of Telefaxand postwar Deskfax services. For faster serviceto its largercustomers, Western Union installedtie-lines to connectthem directlyvia ,, and, after 1937, Telefax. By December, 1941, WesternUnion had 200 Telefax circuits in operationin New York, Chicago,Atlanta, and SanFrancisco. The technologyevolved, always in the directionof moreautomated operations, increasing the speedof operationsand reducingthe amountof humaninvolvement needed [23]. After the war, WesternUnion developedand introducedDeskfax, a smallerversion of Telefax,that extendedthe abilityto directlysend telegrams from an office desk. Messagessent from a Deskfaxor publicmachine arrived at a central office for transcriptioninto telegraphiccode. Designedfor inexpensiveproduction and minimummaintenance and adjustment,important considerationsfor automaticequipment, Deskfax became the most widespread applicationof facsimiletechnology until eclipsedby telephone-basedfax machinesin the mid-1970s. Deskfaxinstallations peaked at 45,000 unitsbefore 276

productionstopped in 1960. In 1971,when only 20,000 fax machinesexisted in the US, businessesstill operated37,000 Deskfaxes[15; 33; 38]. From the 1950suntil the early 1960s,Western Union createdvariations of Deskfaxand Telefax for a wide varietyof nichemarkets. The development of automaticswitchboards allowed the creationof privatefax networkswhere subscriberscould directly transmit to otherpatrons or via a centraloperator to non-subscribers.Services included WeatherFax, BrokerFax, IntraFax, LetterFax, and Wirefax. In 1958, fax servicesaccounted for $42 million of Western Union's $255 million in revenues[28]. Desktopmachines, growing niche markets,dedicated communication networks, profitable service -- WesternUnion appearedto havethe basisfor widespreadfax operationsin the early 1960s. Two decadelater, marketsurveys discussed Western Union in the pasttense. The companyfaced three problems: competition, technology, and management. WesternUnion facedgrowing competition from new fax machinesoperating on the publictelephone network and specialized fax messagefirms. WesternUnion had offeredWirefax, a public fax service,in five major citiesin 1959 but had not expandedthe systemby 1970. In contrast,the IndependentPostal System of Americaoffered one-hour message pick-up and delivery from 'one thousand franchisedlocations nationwide [38]. Fromthe mid-1960s, Western Union stopped promoting and modernizing its fax equipment,a dangerouslag in a periodof rapidlychanging technology, while exploringnew ventures.The companyfailed to capitalizeon its existing baseof usersand machines while venturinginto areaswhere it facedpowerful telecommunicationscompetitors. In the 1960s,Western Union did experiment with severalforms of fax service.Most impressive was the Broadband Exchange Servicewhich offered a switched,duplex serviceamong 50 US cities and connections with international carriers. Western Union tried other services in the 1970s-80sas traditional telegraphywithered under the onslaughtof new electronictechnologies and expressdelivery services. One of the more interestingefforts was EasyLink, part of a competitivetrend towards integrating separatecommunications services into onesystem. EasyLink allowed a userto senda messagefrom a or personalcomputer via WesternUnion andthe postalservice. Like the BritishPost Office had feared with picturetelegraphy, EasyLink'se-mail systemcut sharplyinto WesternUnion's mainline telex base withoutadding substantive new revenues.EasyLink lost $24 million in 1984, furtherworsening the company'sshaky finances [25, 32]. Most important,however, was the reluctanceof top managementto view facsimileas a meansof communicationin itselfas opposedto an integralpart of thetelegraph. According to companyfacsimile engineer Garvice H. Ridings, top managementin the 1960s and 1970s had neither the interest nor comprehensionto pursuethe possibilitiesof true facsimilecommunications. Insteadof creatinga unifiednetwork of their existingmachines, Western Union ignoredits existingpotential [11, 34]. The successfulintegration of fax technologyinto its telegraphicservices definitelybenefitted the companyfor a quarter-century.Its failure,however, to see the fax as anythingbut an adjunctto the telegraphmessage ultimately relegatedWestern Union to a minor player in the telecommunicationsworld. This was a caseof managerialnarrow-vision or institutionalinertia, even while 277

the companybuilt the largestcustomer pool for facsimilein the until the mid- 1970s.


Between1935 and 1950, newspapers,radio stations, and fax promoters cooperatedto createthe "newspaperof thefuture," a newspaperthat still awaits its audience.This failure stemmedless from technologicalinadequacies than from poor economicsand misconceptions about the demandfor newsand the popularityof . The conceptof fax broadcastingwas simple: Insteadof broadcasting soundfrom a studio,a radiostation would scana speciallyprepared newspaper and transmit it over the airwaves. At home, a recorderwould print the newspaper.To usethe contemporaryanalogy, the facsimilescanner was similar to the microphoneand the receiverto the loudspeaker. Newspaperswere the focal point for blendingthese broadcast and narrowcasttechnologies into a new product. interestin fax broadcasting grew from opportunityand fear. The opportunitywas a profitablesynergy betweennewspapers and the radio stations that many of themowned. The fear wasbeing "caught napping" by a newcommunications medium, as had happened with radiobroadcasting in the 1920s[16; 37]. As with any emergingtechnology, visions and expectationsgreatly outpacedthe technologicalcapability. Proponents envisioned several financial advantagesfor the radiofaxednewspaper: A short-termsupplement to the existingnewspaper, someday it mightreplace the elaborate-- andstrike-prone - - printingand distributionprocess with directtransmission to homes[45]. The television-radio-newspaperstruggle greatly shaped the evolution and ultimatedemise of fax broadcasting.From the fax broadcastingperspective, the problemwas twofold: the fastgrowth of televisionand the slowgrowth of FM radio. The developmentand expansionof televisiontook attention,FCC frequencyallocations, advertising, and resources from the emergingFM radio, which did not meet its proponents'promises until the mid-1950s. "Facsimilists"perceived television not asa competitorbut asan expensive "personalizeddelivery of motionpictures" that offeredonly "fleeting,moving images on a screen, whereas fax provides a recordedduplicate of each transmittedpage." Advocates of televisionviewed fax broadcastingas a potential supplementfor television,printing programs and synopses[9; 21; 26]. The prewar fax broadcastingboom began when the McClatchy BroadcastingCompany applied in October,1936 to the FCC for permissionfor earlymorning fax broadcastingfor two stations.By December,1937, the FCC hadgranted eleven experimental licenses, over twenty stations by mid-1938,and forty by December,1939. Ten thousandreceivers had beensold by Pearl Harbor. Despitethese advances, commercial enthusiasm had fadedby 1941, whenonly four stations continued to transmit[1, 1941;7; 22; 31; 41]. The loss of interestcame from technical and commercial considerations. The equipment was very sensitiveand slow. Nor did the nighttimebroadcasts did providea usefulservice: A morningnewspaper provided more news at far lesscost [14; 29]. 278

After World War II, fax broadcastingexperienced a rebirthbased on FM transmission,which offeredsignificantly better broadcasting quality and faster printingthan AM. From a commercialstandpoint, however, the FM spectrum waslargely unplumbed, meaning that, unlikeAM, FM did not havea largebase of stationsand receivers -- or potentialcustomers [2; 46]. Despitethis handicap, FM fax broadcastingadvanced rapidly after 1944. Parallelingtechnical progress, promoterscreated an institutionalframework to promotestandards and public acceptance.The two strongestnewspaper supporters were the Miami Herald, a Knightnewspaper, and the PhiladelphiaInquirer. Onereason for theKnight newspapers' strong backing was their admitted lag in adoptingnew like colorprinting. Herewas the opportunity for Lee Hill, already an innovator,to lead in introducing"'tomorrow's newspaper.'" Less heraldedwere delaying an expensiveexpansion of the printing facilitiesand the possibilityof circumventingthe typesettersunion, Local430 of InternationalTypographical Union, AFL, whichdid strikestarting in December,1948 for four years. Anotherreason was the prevailingpostwar attitudeof technologicalenthusiasm. Australian Consolidated Press editor-in- chief E. W. McAlpine declared,"The atomic bomb and facsimile,being demonstratedby The Miami Herald, are symbolsof the new age [12; 36; 40; 42]." Emboldenedby the interest in pubic demonstrationsin 1947, The PhiladelphiaInquirer, The New YorkTimes and The Miami Herald began daily operationsin expectationof forthcomingFCC approval of commercial operations.On December30, 1947,the Inquirer beganregular broadcasts. By March, 1948, the paper broadcastfive daily editionsto thirty-one receivers. Unlike the paper'sultimate goal of homebroadcasts, receivers went to hotels, banks,restaurants, and otherbusinesses which couldattract large audiences [ 14, 41]. In March, 1948, the FCC authorizedcommercial fax broadcasting. Advocatesthought that fax broadcastinghad sufficiently matured technologically to makea profit whileproviding a publicservice. Radio Invention's Lee Crooks predictedthat a yearafter FCC authorization,the nation would have one hundred fax publications[14]. Oneyear later, the dreamof commercialfax broadcasting wasdead. By 1952,FM fax broadcastinghad nearly vanished. Only six stations had FCC authorizationto transmit,and five were part of the New York Rural . In 1954, eventhat activity ceased[1, 1952, 1954]. Whathad happened? Audiences had flocked to publicdemonstrations, but refusedto follow with their money. Economicsas well as a technologystill being tweakeddestroyed the feasibilityof fax. The problemwas twofold: expensivereceivers and paper. The initial FM receivers,designed to generate publicinterest and elite acceptance,cost $800-900, with estimatesof large-scale productionreducing that to $50 or even$1ee [14]. The Inquirer polled 945 peoplewho viewed its public demonstrations. Although74% expressedinterest in a home receiver,their commitmentfaded rapidly with price. Sixty-fourpercent would pay $1ee, 31% would pay $200, but only 6% would pay $500, still far belowthe actualprice of a receiver. In a chicken-and-eggsituation, the massproduction needed to establisha market neveroccurred because the marketdid not exist[ 14]. As intractablewas the cost 279

of paper. Even the most optimisticpredictions priced a four-pagefaxpaper severaltimes higherthan a normal 40-pagepaper. Contraryto expectations, newsproved a fungibleand cost-sensitive commodity. AM radioand newspapers fulfilled the needsof mostpeople.


The most spectacularfailure in the history of fax was ZapMail. Unsurprisingly,its promoter was Federal Express, one of themost innovative and fast-growingfirms of the 1970s-80s.Federal Express conceived ZapMail as a meansof expandingfrom the physicalto electronicdelivery of data,thus further sharpeningthe company'scompetitive edge. The ultimategoal of ZapMail was a seamlesssystem of FederalExpress satellites handling communications among 50,000 rooftopdishes [13]. FederalExpress' interest in ZapMailwas not technology for technology's sake. The companywas engagedin intensecompetition with otherexpress delivery services. DHL WorldwideCourier Express,for example,offered its InternationalNetExpress, a similarsystem but bettersituated because it offered rapiddelivery to largeinternational customers [10; 25]. Thecompany launched ZapMail in July, 1984 with two tiers of service. For low-volumecustomers, standarddelivery and pickup would continuebut the documentswould be transmittedfrom one FederalExpress office to anotherfor deliverywithin two hours. Like WesternUnion's Telflax, high-volumeusers would havetheir own FederalExpress ZapMailer on their premises.The technologicallyadvanced ZapMailer was deliberatelyincompatible with other facsimile equipment beginningto enterthe commercialsector. The companyhoped to establisha fax monopolyequivalent to AT&T's hold on telephoneservice. Customerdemand never reached Federal Express's expectations. As well as "normal"technical teething troubles, a major problemwas the high initial chargeof $35 for five pages,a ratethat contrastedunfavorably with $14 for FederalExpress overnight delivery. Reducingthe chargeto $25 did not help greatly,nor did sharplyslashing rental fees for the NEC equipment. Federal Expresswas leasing hundreds of ZapMailersmonthly, but purchasingthousands from NEC [25; 27]. Two additionalmiscalculations of businessbehavior further hurt ZapMail. Companiesneeded many fewer same-daydeliveries outside their firm than expected. Overnightmail worked as well and cost less. The three-hour differencebetween the eastand west coasts, coupled with the deliverytime from mailrooms,restricted the utility of transcontinentaltransmissions to a few hours a day. Financially,ZapMail's costsand lossesescalated. When the company finally pulledthe plug on ZapMail in October,1986, it had lost $317 million [35]. The fundamentalflaw of ZapMail was the emphasison centralized mailroom to mailroom delivery at a time when the trend was towards decentralizeddesktop to desktopdelivery. Compoundingthis error was the equipment'sincompatibility with anyother fax system,barring ZapMail fromthe rest of the fax community. 280


The advanceof facsimiletechnology was neither uncontested nor simple, as these exampleshave shown. Failure, conspicuouslydisplayed in harsh accountingterms, was a closecompanion. Competition from other technologies and other demandsfor resourcesplayed a significantrole. Other forms of communication,whether the newspaper,the airplane,or the overnightpackage, satisfiedusers at significantlyless cost or effortthan the fax technologies.Other demandsfor resourcesexisted in all casesand playeda significantrole in fax broadcastingbut weredecisive only in WesternUnion. In no case did the technologyactually fail to perform. The problemsencountered were the usual teethingtroubles encountered when deployingor adaptinga new system. Rare is thetechnology or productthat succeeds the first time. Reshaping,remarketing, and "tweaking"the productto' remedynewly perceivedshortcomings are commonthemes in the historiesof many productsand technologies[18, 44]. Usually,supporters and skepticsrealize the needto reshapesome aspect of the product. Only an extremelypoor and irredeemableshowing, as in the caseof fax broadcasting,will immediatelykill a project. The lack of successderived not from the componenttechnologies, but from the gapbetween the proponents'visions and the reality of specificmarkets. Whatthe equipmentdid notdo wasdeliver significant and economically obvious benefitsto a sufficientlylarge customer base. Only in picturetelegraphy was a nichemarket created which provided a protectiveenvironment for thetechnology to succeedcommercially -- andthat happenedoutside the PostOffice. Networksof cooperatingsupporters existed in all fourcases. The projects couldnot havelasted as long asthey did withoutinternal and external support. The natureand depth of this supportvaried significantly. Western Union andthe PostOffice were both monopoliesthat introducedfax technologyfor different reasons.Western Union soughtspecific economic benefits by reducinglabor costsand extending existing operations. Until thedecline of telegraphy,Western Union's deploymentof facsimilewas a success. The British Post Office inheritedan outsidetechnology and deployedit in step with its European counterparts.Once obligated, however, the Post Office did notthink of stopping service. In contrast,ZapMail and fax broadcastinghad more innovative corporate sponsorsbuoyed by the conceptof technologicalprogress. Federal Express had a reputationas a radicalcompany, expanding the frontiersof the possible,as demonstratedby its originalconcept of overnightdelivery. ZapMail promised to be a similar leap over its rivals. In this case,the conceptoverlooked ZapMail's fundamentaldiscontinuity with Federal Express'sdesk-to-desk delivery. Perhapsa moreconservative corporation might have focused more on this aspect. Fax broadcastingwas alsoradical, a jump in the dark, but a jump basedon the pastsuccess of radio and the futurepromise of television. Threeof the four casesinvolved major miscalculations about the market for theirproduct. Only the PostOffice launchedits picturetelegraphy service with low expectations.Fax broadcastingstand out because informed students of the airwavesassumed that, like television,fax broadcastingwould become an integralpart of the exploitationof the airwaves. 281

JosephJ. Corn has identifiedthree fallaciesabout new technologies leading to such overconfidence: the fallacies of total revolution, social continuity,and the technologicalfix [6]. Enthusiasmis neededto createthe enormouseffort to developand market new products. An accuratebalance sheet beforesuch an effort wouldprobably scare most supporters away. The greater the excitement,however, the greaterthe potentialfor a gap betweenreality and expectations. As this paper has demonstrated,the processof commercial innovationis far harderand slowerthan many successes has indicated.


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