Searching \ for 'New ideas' in subject line. ()
Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure! Help us get a faster server
FAQ page: www.piclist.com/techref/index.htm?key=new+ideas
Search entire site for: 'New ideas'.

Truncated match.
PICList Thread
'New ideas'
1997\10\28@161931 by Walter Banks

picon face
I am separating this from the SX thread because it is a very
different topic and the points Myke raises needs
more than a short casual answer.

I spend a lot of time responding to the PIC list because it
has a lot of subscribers that have a common interest in
developing and refining new ideas. We collectively
benefit from this both in the products we develop and way
approach problems.

This is far from a single case issue and the specific examples
used here are just that examples. At issue is the freedom
to try many different ideas and be rewarded by the few that
actually work out.

I have started with Myke Predko's comments and
added comments of my own. Myke thanks for the
opportunity to look for a few moments at a bigger
picture than todays lunch money.

Walter Banks

----------
{Quote hidden}

I disagree. They promoted a good idea through ads, trade shows
and they developed the product line over time. Their continued
promotion continued to develop a market for the Stamp and
Microchip PIC based products.  They tirelessly promoted neat
solutions to complex problems.

Innovation is high risk. Idea's are judged after their introduction. The
cost of copying a good idea is much lower than the development effort
for new good idea's. We have Patents, Copyrights and many other
intellectual property rules that collectively encourage us to be
aggressive about developing and promoting new ideas. This is the
carrot that rewards success.
>
This is part of a separate thread about a personal experience of Myke's

> Their feeling was they came up with the original idea and I was
> tresspassing on their intellectual property by presenting source
> code in the book.

Maybe you were.  Taking the hard nosed approach to the comment
you used their idea to promote your book as a salable item  Did you
also use the publicity derived from your book to promote them?  Did
you seek their permission to use the material in your book?  One of
the definitions of profit is that everyone is better off.

I am not singling you out just using the example.

>
> If somebody comes up with a clone of your product that's
> better, cheaper and compatible either you up the ante or
> get left in the dust.

There is a difference between clean room clones and reverse
engineering.  Clean room clones very often have new
innovation in them, often as significant as the original. In many
cases the science in reverse engineered products cannot
even be described by the companies that promote that
kind of derivative product.

> In the end, it's  the customer that wins.

I am not so sure. In the short term that may be true the customer
has a product that does not have the development costs built in
but they are going to have to individually develop the idea to the
next step without the original idea holder's support.  One way of
looking at innovative products is a form of distributed development.

Assume for a moment that only unprogrammed parts existed
in the worst case each developer would be responsible for their
own development tools.  Someone develops an assembler and
offers it to his friend for half his development costs there-by
making both of the more competitive the rest of the
developers in the world. It also develops a new market for
the innovation of those that specialize in tools alone.  Their
innovation makes everyone's job easier, kill the incentive
and we will all be back to making our own tools.

If the effort to reverse engineer a product had been used to
create a better user interface for example then everyone
including the original developer would benefit.

> I've tried to avoid the obvious example of the IBM PC, but I can't.

It is a great example of how a cloning was part of a business
plan. When IBM was planning the PC one of the considerations
was there had never to that time been a successful computer that
did not have an open architecture. IBM sold a lot more computers
than if it had been a closed design. It also encouraged many
innovative developers to develop their craft.

Idea companies depend on the mix of ideas that work and
those that did not. I encourage the development of "new" ideas

('nuff said)

Walter Banks

1997\10\28@172732 by Andy Kunz

flavicon
face
>> Their feeling was they came up with the original idea and I was
>> tresspassing on their intellectual property by presenting source
>> code in the book.
>
>Maybe you were.  Taking the hard nosed approach to the comment
>you used their idea to promote your book as a salable item  Did you
>also use the publicity derived from your book to promote them?  Did
>you seek their permission to use the material in your book?  One of
>the definitions of profit is that everyone is better off.

Not being privy to the origination of this comment, and not having a copy
of the book yet, I don't know what's REALLY being said.

I do know that we received a request for info from Myke for the latest one.

If programmer A makes a neat product and doesn't say how/what he did
inside, and programmer B makes something functionally equivalent and
releases the source code, there isn't much that can be said unless they use
the same patented algorithm (even if independently developed).

BTW, the Senate is considering a bill which will essentially destroy the
American patent system.  TELL YOUR SENATOR TO VOTE NO!!

>There is a difference between clean room clones and reverse
>engineering.  Clean room clones very often have new

Please describe the difference.  Japan and Taiwan (and soon Korea and
Vietnam) built their economies by reverse engineering foreign products,
then developing their own based upon what they had learned (and we _didn't_
learn).

>It is a great example of how a cloning was part of a business
>plan. When IBM was planning the PC one of the considerations
>was there had never to that time been a successful computer that
>did not have an open architecture. IBM sold a lot more computers
>than if it had been a closed design. It also encouraged many
>innovative developers to develop their craft.

As I recall, IBM didn't create an open interface.  They didn't have a
locked-down system a la Apple.  An open system would imply a standard for
others to build upon.  As you recall, it took an industry consortium to
formally define the ISA bus.  Instead, IBM gave us a non-protected
interface.  They didn't expect the PC market to cut into their mainframes.

The PC was a marketing blunder that went right (for the customers) and
wrong (for IBM, who is now a minor player in the field).

>Idea companies depend on the mix of ideas that work and
>those that did not. I encourage the development of "new" ideas

So let's mix it up, guys!

Andy

==================================================================
Andy Kunz - Montana Design - 409 S 6th St - Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
         Hardware & Software for Industry & R/C Hobbies
       "Go fast, turn right, and keep the wet side down!"
==================================================================

1997\10\28@193726 by myke predko

flavicon
face
Hi Walt,

Great idea separating it from the SX thread.  I will try to make a few
points that wasn't made in Andy's excellent earlier reply.

>I am separating this from the SX thread because it is a very
>different topic and the points Myke raises needs
>more than a short casual answer.

<SNIP>

{Quote hidden}

Fine.  I don't disagree with this and I think we're moving on to a new
subject (and I'll talk about it more below).  This new subject being, did
Parallax *first* come up with the idea?

If they did, I would agree with you that they should enjoy some sort of
protection.

But they didn't.  The earliest reference I have for this idea is in my 1982
Intel Microcontroller's databook with an 8052 burned with a BASIC interpreter.

I agree that the Stamp is a pretty good product, but if somebody comes out
with a better one, is complaining about it justified or a thumb suck?  If
PAX promotes their product, are they entitled to feel like their competitors
are unfairly riding their coattails?

>Innovation is high risk. Idea's are judged after their introduction. The
>cost of copying a good idea is much lower than the development effort
>for new good idea's. We have Patents, Copyrights and many other
>intellectual property rules that collectively encourage us to be
>aggressive about developing and promoting new ideas. This is the
>carrot that rewards success.

No concerns or arguments here.

{Quote hidden}

As Andy pointed out, I did solicit companies repeatedly to advertise in the
book (Bytecraft is in there for example).

The project in question was the Serial LCD Interface (I've already gotten a
few questions about this).  The company is (was?) on this list and had the
same opportunities as everybody else did - they did not choose to respond to
my repeated requests.

When they complained, through McGraw-Hill, I sent an add from a 1990 Popular
Electronics showing a Serial LCD Interface for sale.  They have been asked
to show where my code (which is available in the book is the same as
theirs).  Neither McGraw-Hill nor myself have heard back.

This happened last week while I was away on business and I ended up spending
$100 of my own money in long distance bills and having my wife FedExing the
magazine to McGraw-Hill's lawyers - so I'm pretty steamed about the whole
thing.

>I am not singling you out just using the example.

No problem.  I probably should have put in more information in my previous
note.  And, I'm probably a bit raw over what happened.

{Quote hidden}

No argument there, but in the type of reverse engineered products you are
citing are probably violating the copyright/patents/intellectual property
laws of the original and are unquestionably breaking the law.

{Quote hidden}

No arguments.  I probably should have been more explicit.

>> I've tried to avoid the obvious example of the IBM PC, but I can't.
>
>It is a great example of how a cloning was part of a business
>plan. When IBM was planning the PC one of the considerations
>was there had never to that time been a successful computer that
>did not have an open architecture. IBM sold a lot more computers
>than if it had been a closed design. It also encouraged many
>innovative developers to develop their craft.

As Andy said, it wasn't part of the business plan at all.  I used to work
with the IBM Toronto patent Attorney testing clones looking for patent
infringments.  IBM is pretty vigorous in suing companies that use without
license their technology.  If you're an IBM and Intel hater, you'll probably
disappointed to know how much money actually goes back to IBM and Intel from
your clone (and will continue to do so for the next decade or so) and the
chips in it.

>Idea companies depend on the mix of ideas that work and
>those that did not. I encourage the development of "new" ideas

I think we're in complete agreement here.  My original point was (and still
is - although I'm probably more eloquent here) that some companies have made
a lot of money off of a product that wasn't their original idea and when
somebody produces a legitimate competing product, they have no right to
complain.

The issue I took with PAX and the company that contacted McGraw-Hill is,
they simply aren't the first and the competition was legitimate.  I probably
should have made that more explicit on this point in my original note.

>('nuff said)

Agreed - although I would love talking more about virtual peripherals.

myke

Check out "Programming and Customizing the PIC Microcontroller" at:

http://www.myke.com

1997\10\28@231725 by Walter Banks

picon face
This is quite a story that started before many on the PIC
list were born.

> The earliest reference I have for this idea is in my 1982
> Intel Microcontroller's databook with an 8052 burned
> with a BASIC interpreter.

Mid 70's a bunch of current valley gray breads hanging
around Stanford converged on the SLAC auditorium and had an
informal organization called the Homebrew Computer club an
institution that lasted for about 20 years. Lots of neat
conversation good ideas. Most of these guys are still
around. Steve was playing with 6502's cuz the Woz couldn't
afford to buy Mot (he can now). These are the folks that
turn dumpster diving into a fine art. Remember this was
before Weird Stuff and Fry's had one store 1500' or so.
Software came on typewritten pages and mass storage was
paper tape. One of these programs were some notes on making
your own tiny basic. Vol. 1 No 1 of Doctor Dobbs featured
this project (I still have a copy its across the hall in our
historical products department).


Bring on the clones the innovators et al.

First comes Tom Pitman whose complete implementation was
duplicated on the mass storage media of the time. Price a
full 5 bucks. His wife handfolded each copy to fit a
standard envelope with a few pages of documentation.


Tom's early success led to several others implementing
their own variations and Tom doing at least one embedded
version.

Li Chen Wangâs Palo Alto Basic was a popular implementation.


Steve aka Woz and apple][ integer basic and his addition
of sweet-sixteen to the mix.

There was South West Tech and JTB each with there own
features and innovation.

Micromint the original Circuit Cellar built a small
board in the late 70âs with a 8052 with basic blown
into its ROM (Serial number 1 is also across the hall).  
This was promoted by Steve Ciarcia (This is part referred to in the
first reference on this post)

The PIC stamps standardized the features of a low
cost Basic computational unit, implemented a standalone
real time execution environment and used innovative
software to solve a lot of performance issues. Seeing
exact copies of some of these routines as part of other
competing products is the issue I referred to last night.

It is a story of innovation lasting close to a quarter
century and we are all better off because each of the
players worked hard to make their product a little better.  

I have missed many who contributed to this tale.

The comments expressed are mine.

Walter Banks

More... (looser matching)
- Last day of these posts
- In 1997 , 1998 only
- Today
- New search...