Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/28/foresight_luck/
Don't give foresight, give me luck!
History written by winners
And so to lunch with Martin Richmond-Coggan, VP EMEA at Applix, ostensibly to talk about its acquisition of Temtec BI visualisation software. Apparently, Applix's TM1 combined with Temtec's Executive Viewer is proving much more attractive than TM1 alone to potential customers using Essbase and wondering what its strategic future is.
Our conversation turned to data models, as it does, and the advantages / disadvantages of the multidimensional (cube) model. Martin praised the great foresight of Applix's founder, who put the “fact table” (more or less) in memory back in the days when there was only 640K of it…
More power to him; Applix is a fine product and is well-placed to take advantage of 64bit computing, because of this decision.
But what if this gamble hadn't come off? I probably wouldn't have been having lunch with Applix today. This is not so much a case of foresight as of survival. Some very rich people today, including some who thought that 640K of memory was plenty and that the internet would never take off, have garnered huge reputations for foresight, but I rather think that some of them are actually more deserving of a reputation for making u-turns adroitly - and taking their companies along with them.
I sometimes think that "foresight" is what those who got lucky and rich are allowed to call luck - although it is amazing just how luck favours those who put in the hard work and know what they are talking about too. &Reg;