Jack Goldman, 1921-2011

Jacob "Jack" Goldman, the founder of Xerox PARC, died Tuesday at 90. In the New York Times's obit, John Markoff describes how Goldman's vision convinced a copier company to invest in the future, even if it had no idea what to do with the returns: "PARC researchers designed a remarkable array of computer technologies, including the Alto personal computer, the Ethernet office network, laser printing and the graphical user interface. ... Years later, Dr. Goldman explained Xerox’s failure ... as part of a large corporation’s unwillingness to take risks."


  1. PARC is responsible for all of the technological innovations that nearly put Xerox out of business.  They did exploit the laser printing technology enough to make the PARC investment pay off eventually.

  2. Jobs never hid the fact that he stole the general concept of the GUI from Xerox. But Jobs and Apple certainly expanded and improved it far beyond Xerox ever devised themselves. Xerox blew it, badly. But it certainly wasn’t Goldman’s fault.

  3. Seems to me that Xerox profited handily; they hadn’t the resources to do more than they did, so instead of sitting on it they released the technology and it sold printers for them.  It’s still selling printers for them.  Before Xerox PARC, the market for Xerox products was tiny, now it’s incredibly vast.

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