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    The importance of being in the right place at the right time cannot be possibly overstated.

    This is probably one of the most important things to take away from the whole thing. x86 and DOS were not grand architectural achievements so much as they were a benefactor of circumstance. The same is probably true for a lot of tech stuff we seemingly hold in high regard.

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      But somehow to me it seems like the PC itself was a stroke of genius: they basically had already sunk a lot of R&D into making small computers and had to minimize cost and time to market in order to be able to compete with the likes of Apple and Commodore. So the idea of using cheap, off-the-shelf components was a great move for making this product a reality.

      I’m kind of afraid of what this says for the expected quality of stuff that is successful in the market, though. OTOH, it does mean if you identify situations like this where there’s a lot of useful (but maybe crappy) base ingredients for a complex product, you can fit them together in a short amount of time and beat all competitors who are trying to do everything from scratch using in-house proprietary solutions. Thinks… isn’t that exactly what Amazon is currently doing with open source software in their SaaS platforms?