Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer
by Douglas K. Smith, R. C. Alexander

Who Should Read This Book

  • Executives and Managers whose company future depends on innovation
  • Technologists
  • Policy makers
  • Academics
  • Journalists seeking a better grasp of business
  • Anyone interested in the history of the information age

Why You Should Read This Book

Fumbling The Future forever changed how corporations think about and manage innovation. In compelling, human terms it lays out the classic story of the information age and along the way teaches much about:

  • The challenge of converting invention (new good ideas) into innovation (commercialized products and services)
  • The gaps between lofty vision and gritty organizational reality
  • The self-defeating limits of a strictly financial view of innovation
  • The barriers too often separating marketing from finance from research and development
  • The tragedy caused by ego and corporate culture that betray a company's best past and fail to deliver the best future


"One of the ten best books written chronicling the past two digital decades." BYTE, 20th Anniversary Issue

"A wonderful, well written story of innovation - what makes it work and how bureaucracy can break its back." - Robert Waterman, In Search of Excellence

"One of the greatest missed opportunities in U.S. business history."
- Andrea Gabor, The Capitalist Philosophers

"Superlative history." - Marshall Goldsmith, Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration

"When Fumbling the Future was published, the impact reverberated throughout Xerox." - Henry Chesbrough, Harvard Business School

"A superb study of an organization at war with itself." - Washington Monthly

"Tragicomic saga." - Howard Rheingold, Wired

"The brand horror story of our times is Xerox. From this book's publication onward, brand image of Xerox became 'the company that fumbled the future'." - Forbes



Books by Douglas K. Smith

On Value and Values : Thinking Differently About We in an Age of Me Douglas K. Smith

The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization
J. R. Katzenbach, Douglas K. Smith

The Discipline of Teams: A Mindbook-Workbook for Delivering Small Group Performance J. R. Katzenbach, Douglas K. Smith.

Make Success Measurable: A Mindbook-Workbook for Managing Performance Douglas K. Smith

Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer Douglas K. Smith, R. C. Alexander

Taking Charge of Change: 10 Principles for Managing People and Performance Douglas K. Smith

Sources of the African Past David Robinson, Douglas K. Smith

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