I’ve often wondered what would the world be without xerox. Most of my college days went by as i thrived on copies for nearly everything for study material. In fact not just college, photo copies have become an imperative for nearly any walk of life.
Just got married? Bring copies of several documents for registration. Applying for a loan? A whole bunch of copies required. Similarly for admissions, job applications, setting up your society / telephone / electricity bill. Its the copies that get carried along with any official documentation. For a company that eventually became a household name when it comes to photo copies, Xerox has come a long way. Or not.
Back in the late 70’s Xerox PARC was one of the most innovative companies. To the extent that Steve Jobs had been to their facilities back in the day to explore what they were doing. Jobs had people in the team who were working on software and hardware and they eventually picked up ideas for their computers too. Maybe Jobs stole (er. was inspired by) some of the ideas there. Apparently that’s what lead to the mouse being created. Legend has it that Jobs said that if Xerox PARC was to build, innovate and leverage the work they were doing then they could have been bigger than most tech giants at this time.
Whether that worked out to their benefit or not, they did for sure break the barrier by becoming the first name that comes to mind when it comes to copies. Given the number of applications that require a xerox copy and the numerous number of times their machines as used, I don’t think they lost either!