Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lawyers and the evolution of Technology

Many people do not like lawyers. They think no good can come out of lawyers. I beg to differ.

I would attribute the evolution of all technological 1.0 2.0 and 3.0 and all others yet to come to Lawyers. Even if not entirely the one and only cause, lawyer(s) was the biggest catalyst in making this happen.

The big bang evolution of Technology started with the PC. More importantly and precisely the IBM clones. It was the Windows that made the IBM clones possible. So where did the lawyers come in to this?

In the name of innovation and secrecy the IBM PC group was way secluded away from the rest of organization. IBM never leveraged the resources within their company. IBM never thought PC could be a game changer. So isn't it all about strategy failure of IBM throwing away the future? NOOOO.

Isn't it all about Bill Gates selling his software all over the world taking a free ride back of the giant IBM? Again I would say NO.

It was because Bill Gates was able to sell his software to all other than IBM too.

Usually when IBM buys software from a vendor, they ask for an exclusive agreement that they should serve as a sole vendor only to IBM. Considering it is OS to the PC, this should have been in the legal agreement. Some lawyer should have spotted this and should have included it in the agreement.

Oh, Would Bill have been bound by a piece of paper? Couldn't Bill have wiggled out of the agreement as he once did with Ed Roberts of MITS? Bill even found a loop hole in an agreement with Steve Jobs and announced the launch of GUI based OS well before the launch of Macintosh. Why not pull the same trick with IBM?

Well, either Roberts or Steve weren't as big as IBM. Bill could have gotten away from any iron clad agreement with Roberts or Steve, but not with IBM! May be Bill could have set himself free from the agreement, even it was iron clad. But then Big Bang of technology evolution couldn't have occured and even if occured, it would have been delayed.

Long live that lawyer who overlooked that clause of the century! 


Venkat said...

from now a transformed business mind sets to ramble on new dimension hence it demands a brand new punai peyar. can we see the launch soon?

Ramesh said...

Totally echo Venkat. Need new avatar.

Interesting point. I suspect that even in those times, such a clause would have been on the border line of anti trust law - that was why perhaps the lawyer omitted it. Certainly in today's times, if IBM , or anybody, tried to put a clause like that, they would get sued and win.

Take today's apps. Apple demands exclusivity for apps generated by third parties because their OS is proprietary. But they can't stop the party from making a similar app for Android.

In any case I am highly sceptical of the high value of lawyers. I think your law professor is very pretty; that's all :):)