Fumbling the Future

Fumbling the Future

Fumbling the Future, by Douglas Smith and Robert Alexander, is a detailed analysis of Xerox’s venture into the personal computer industry in the 1970s. Xerox, the undoubted leader in the photocopy business, experienced booming financial growth and no competitor stood a chance against the giant. Xerox executives realized that computers represented the dawn of a new age in office technology and an opportunity for immense financial gains. They wanted a piece of the pie. As a result, Xerox entered the computing industry and developed the Alto, the first personal computer. Additionally, the company created a technology research department and computer research laboratory to stake its claim in the industry. In a relatively short time, Xerox’s computer division was packed full of the brightest minds in computer science. On the surface, it seemed that Xerox would gain generous profits, but instead, Xerox’s computing endeavors lead to massive financial devastation.

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