SGI History Snippet – SHS01

I was at SGI via a software subsidiary from 1996-2004 so just at the peak and then riding down the long decline. I remember going to Siggraph in I think 1998 and seeing nothing but SGI machines in every booth on the show floor.One thing I recall is that at one point everyone at the company was told to read “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, which is of course the tale of large dominant companies having their market share eaten from below. Some people say SGI didn’t see it coming – I think what was interesting was that they did see it coming but still structural issues prevented the taking of any effective action (for example salesforce commissions continued to encourage sales of large systems rather than the low end machines they really needed to push at the point.)

There was also an internal news group called sgi.bad-attitude where you got to find out what was really going on in the company. I believe the idea was brought over from Netscape via Jim Clark, but it was impressive to have a forum where you could say just about anything and not be censored. That is where I learned things were over long before it became apparent to the outside world, or even much of the company.

quoted from: martinpw on Oct 16, 2014 [-]

Leave a Reply