Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Thu, 19 Dec 2002 07:52:01 GMT

We’ve come to that time of the year again when the planning process rears its ugly head.

Planning is indeed a challenging �science�. So here�s a welcome distraction.

For the more technical amongst us, you may have noticed recently the formal death of IBM�s PC operating system OS/2. OS/2 was once touted by IBM and industry pundits as the product that would take the wind out of Microsoft�s sales (sic).

While reading about the formal demise of OS/2, I happened upon a detailed history of the operating system (bear with me there is a planning angle here!) and there were some very interesting details on the assumptions IBM made while planning the launch of the IBM Personal Computer in 1981:

1) IBM expected to sell 275,000 Personal Computers over the five year product life (They received 250,000 orders before the product was formally introduced and another 250,000 the day it launched)
2) Small business would be the predominant purchaser of the PC
3) Large business would stick with mainframes and dumb terminals
4) A few departments at large firms would use PCs for local, non-connected work
5) The PC would be used for one task only � all day long � never more than one.

So the moral is, no matter how badly you plan, you�ll probably have a better batting average than IBM at the launch of the PC. And I think you could say they were very successful!

Written by Tom Murphy

December 19, 2002 at 8:52 am

Posted in General

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