Location : Cleveland, OH
Legendary accounts of breakthroughs in technology tend to focus on operating systems, displays and new devices.
But one of the most significant yet under-reported trends is for technology companies to try to 'leapfrog' each other with 'over-the-top' technologies. It is this trend that often defines the battle for supremacy in the technology industry.
... [IBM] spent over $4bn buying software firm Lotus because it wanted a small but crucial part of the business: Lotus Notes, with a revenue stream then of only $100-200m.
What was IBM's reasoning? Lotus Notes would become the main user interface, sitting on top of Microsoft's Windows operating system, and turning Windows into a commodity, just as Microsoft had done to IBM before. It did not quite work out as planned, but for the potential of going over the top IBM was prepared to pay billions. It illustrated dramatically how valuable over-the-top technology can become.
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