Dec Is Dead, Long Live Dec: The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equiment Corporation
DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC tells the 40-year story of the creation, demise, and enduring legacy of one of the pioneering companies of the computer age. Digital Equipment Corporation created the minicomputer, networking, the concept of distributed computing, speech recognition, and other major innovations. It was the number two computer maker behind IBM. Yet it ultimately failed as a business and was sold to Compaq Corporation. What happened? Edgar Schein consulted to DEC throughout its history and so had unparalleled access to all the major players, and an inside view of all the major events. He shows how the unique organizational culture established by DEC's founder, Ken Olsen, gave the company important competitive advantages in its early years, but later became a hindrance and ultimately led to the company's downfall. Schein, Kampas, DeLisi, and Sonduck explain in detail how a particular culture can become so embedded that an organization is unable to adapt to changing circumstances even though it sees the need very clearly. The essential elements of DEC's culture are still visible in many other organizations today, and most former employees are so positive about their days at DEC that they attempt to reproduce its culture in their current work situations. In the era of post-dot.com meltdown, raging debate about companies ''built to last'' vs. ''built to sell,'' and more entrepreneurial startups than ever, the rise and fall of DEC is the ultimate case study.
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Alpha alumni Andy Knowles assumptions became become beliefs build buy-in changes chapter chip communication company’s Compaq competitive consultant corporate created cultural DNA customers Dave Cutler Debra Rogers DEC culture DEC employees DEC managers DEC story DEC’s decision DECMATE Digital Equipment Corporation Digital’s early Ed Kramer engineering environment evolution evolved executives failure felt functional familiarity Georges Doriot Gordon Bell growing growth hardware hired important individual innovation integration Intel interactive interview issues Jack Shields Ken Olsen Ken’s leaders learned lessons managerial manufacturing memo ment minicomputer money gene networking operating system Operations Committee organization development organizational paradigm personal computer problems product line managers responsibility result right thing RISC role Schein senior management strategy success technical Ted Johnson tion ultimately understand UNIX values vision wanted Woods Meeting