There is a difference between being "first to invent" and "first to 
successfully produce and/or market." The world is full of brilliant ideas that 
never go (and never went) anywhere. Xerox is PARC, not Park. What they 
developed was the concept of GUI, based on user interaction with a computer. 
The opposing view, that apps should be dumbed-down to the LCD, won out. A pity. in the Design, Development, and 
Production of:Technical Documentation - Online Content - Enterprise Websites

CC: gflato at; framers at lists.frameusers.comFrom: ronsmiller 
at comcast.netSubject: Re: radical revamping of techpubsDate: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 
14:31:36 -0400To: tekwrytr at hotmail.comBill Gates, first to market? Gates has 
proven anything by innovative. He's the quintessential, 'let the other guys put 
it on the market and we'll steal it and market it better.' 

DOS? He bought the company? 
Windows? Stole the idea from Apple (who stole it from Xerox Park)
Internet Explorer? Netscape was their first.
The Zune? Don't make me laugh.

Gates has been watching and copying for as long as I remember.


Ron Miller
Freelance Technology Writing Since 1988
Contributing Editor, EContent Magazine

email: ronsmiller at

Winner of the 2006 and 2007 Apex Award for Publication Excellence/Feature 

On Oct 19, 2007, at 12:37 PM, Technical Writer wrote:

And I know of a CEO who used to either get there first, or let the wannabes 
struggle over the crumbs. Name of Bill Gates.

Quality is primarily a subjective opinion; witness the 90+% of the population 
of the planet using Windows, despite the occasional Blue Screen of Death, or 
necessary re-booting orre-installing required. Similarly, whether a product is 
crap or not is again an opinion, not an objective evaluation that can applied 
in all cases. The Debian flavor of Linux is considered "the best" by some, and 
"the worst" by some. The opinions are subjective.

Everyone TW wants to believe that he or she is producing quality documentation 
that creates a warm fuzzy in the user, and makes customers-for-life of the 
company that produces whatever is being documented. I simply suggest a reality 
check may be more useful.

If the TW is documenting software, perhaps he or she should change fields to 
one with a slower pace of life (and writing). The option is to accept the 
realities of the marketplace, and how those influence and constrain the 
production of technical documentation. In a world in which dynamic onlne help 
files are rapidly replacing hard copy documents, it seems more useful to focus 
on developing a skill set that enables high-volume production of acceptable 
quality content, rather than obsessing over trivial (to most users) details of 
grammar, construction, or voice.

In that direction may lie the future of TW--get it written, get it online, and 
concentrate on the Pareto principle of satisfying the needs of the majority of 
users rather than obsessing over the subjective opinions of the minority. 

< From: gflato at> To: tekwrytr at; framers at> > ...or similar biggies realize that time-to-market is 
everything, > > Time-to-market is not everything if you sacrifice quality. If 
you're first on the market but your product is crap, the fact that you were 
first on the market is irrelevant. > > I know a CEO who got fired because all 
he cared about is being first on the market but his products were crap and 
failed often. Other company's that were slower to market but turned out quality 
products, stole marketshare from that company. The company almost went under 
until the board of Directors wisely fired him and put a new CEO at the helm.> > 
> -Gillian> > 
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