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Are PCs the Buggy Whips of the 21st Century?


One hundred years ago, many horse and carriage suppliers missed the chance to evolve as the automobile became the dominant form of transportation. Some PC makers are facing similar circumstances. But it's not mobile technology that's the biggest threat.


Had a buggy whip manufacturer in 1910 rethought things and concluded that rather than being in the buggy whip business he was instead in the business of creating "transportation starting devices." he just might have been able to survive the challenge of the new economy and make the transition into a new era.

-- George Steiner

"Buggy whips" is a shorthand way of describing a manner of thinking more than referring to an actual product. There actually are lots of whips and crops being made today, including ones by some century-old producers. The same can't be said of iron-banded wheels or hand-shaved wooden spokes, which, to my knowledge, really did go extinct.

So, regarding the PC and PC manufacturers, is it their thinking or their product that's the problem? It depends.

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