The story of Compaq is well-known: Three ex-Texas Instruments managers founded Compaq with modest venture funding. Just four years later, Compaq was on the Fortune 500 list, and, two years after that, they had exceeded $1 billion in annual revenue. No company had ever achieved these milestones so rapidly.
But few know the story behind the story. In 1982, when Compaq was founded, there was no software standardization, so every brand of personal computer required its own unique application software. Just eight years later, compatibility with the open PC standard had become ubiquitous, and it has continued to be for over two decades.
This didn’t happen by accident. Cofounder and then CEO Rod Canion and his team made a series of risky and daring decisionsoften facing criticism and incredulitythat allowed the open PC standard marketplace to thrive and the incredible benefits of open computing to be realized.
A never-before-published insider account of Compaq’s extraordinary strategies and decisions, Open provides valuable lessons in leadership in times of crisis, management decision-making under the pressure of extraordinary growth, and the power of a unique, pervasive culture.
Open tells the incredible story of Compaq’s meteoric rise from humble beginnings to become the PC industry leader in just over a decade. Along the way, Compaq helped change the face of computing while establishing the foundation for today’s world of tablets and smart phones.
|Publisher:||BenBella Books, Inc.|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Since leaving Compaq in 1991, Canion has been involved in a long list of startups and early stage companies as an angel investor, advisor, and director. He helped found the Houston Technology Center in 1999 and the Goose Society of Texas in 2005, two organizations focused on encouraging entrepreneurs and helping early stage companies succeed. He is currently a director of Invesco, Ltd. and ChaCha Search, Inc., and is an advisory director of Encore Health Resources and Dynamics, Inc.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Why the Open Industry Standard Matters xiii
1 An Unlikely Beginning 1
2 The Road Less Traveled 19
3 The Best Defense Is a Good Offense 35
4 Opportunity Knocks 51
5 IBM Fires the First Shot 59
6 Back at You, IBM 69
7 Patience Pays Off 81
8 You're Going to Do What?! 91
9 The "Death Star" Arrives 109
10 Compaq's Most Unexpected Decision 123
11 Compaq Leads the Revolt 137
12 Intel Begins to Drift 157
13 Exceeding Expectations 167
14 The Open Industry Standard Wins 175
Epilogue: How Apple Became the Computer Industry Leader 183
Appendix: Compaq Timeline 193
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Really enjoyed the behind the scenes stories of how Compaq worked to make their PC better than the IBM. It was amazing to see how hard they worked to maintain software compatibility across their product line. They knew people invested heavily in software and didn't want to be forced to scrap and start all over every time the PC was upgraded.