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    There’s a book about this: The Innovator’s Dilemma. It uses the term “disruptive technology” for what this article calls “grow-up” technologies, and has examples from other industries as well. (The term “disruptive” was then adopted by startup people to mean “breaking the law as a business model” or sometimes “clueless about how this industry works”.)

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      Your idea is fairly solid. I’ll note some things that seem off.

      First, some small details, it was mainly IBM’s Token Ring (IIRC) competing with Ethernet outside higher end stuff. Minicomputers like the VAXen competed with mainframes taking lots of their market. Then, microcomputers competed with them killing off everything except maybe AS/400 and OpenVMS. Then, the PC standard competed with them giving rise to Microsoft’s dominance in software. The Microsoft tax and OEM deals makes me question if PC’s vs microcomputers was really grow-down or grow-up, but they both have elements of grow-up in implementation. Esp how they did MS-DOS.

      Second, bigger picture, you keep talking about technical aspects of the competing offerings without mentioning what the corporate owners or markets were doing. You mention that grow-up is often cheaper. The part you leave off is the mainframe companies, IBM’s for networking gear, and Apple for their hardware all exerted strong control that hampered outside influence to evolve standards and intentionally kept the cost high to maintain their profits. In other words, they gave the competing standard to win to achieve short-term goals of profit and control.

      In case of mainframes, they remain highly profitable thanks to lock-in tactics while the hardware companies with grow-up, standardized tech (i.e. commodities) are fighting each other for pennies on the dollar sometimes. IBM even sold the stake in that to Lenovo. IBM’s mainframes didn’t stop growing steadily until around 2007 with it getting hit and miss. Sales went up 71% after they revamped it late last year. The grow up challenger is the cloud vendors running on commoditized hardware with open software. IBM responded by building/buying their own virtual and bare-metal clouds plus modifying the mainframe to run all the same stuff side-by-side with legacy. Who knows what will happen. I think all the money that went to Amazon et al instead of IBM supports the grow-up advantage, though, for the general case.

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        TIL SCSI was used for things like scanners!

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          There are plenty of older higher-end scanners who require a correspondingly old computer with SCSI and an older OS to run the software.