With the demise of Silicon Graphics just about now complete, perhaps, looking to discern a simple insight, or to salve the passing of an icon, I hearkened back to what made them great.
What I came away with is the 'Wow' factor. A product, or service that's so unique that it replaces a silent exhalation of breath with a quiet, heartfelt Wow. Sometimes, as with SGI, its special Wow becomes commonplace, emulated and morphed by many. Other times, as with Microsoft and Peter Pan (remember when the folks on the 'edge' loved them?), the Wow slowly dissipates till, before the Company knows it, it's gone. IBM, to its immense credit, recognized they were no longer in the Wow business when Mr. Gerstner shifted its culture and business from Wow to mundane.
Apple, is one of the few companies steeped in Wow, lost it, then found it again. A part of me wishes Palm can do the same.
Thinking back, here are some of my software/internet Wow moments:
Visicalc on an Apple II
Dell- Customize your PC online and buy it cheaper than anywhere else
There really is no substitute for discovering a product/service so compellingly new that it takes your breath away. Something to dream about