CHAPTER 4

Why You’ll Never Be a Prophet in Your Hometown

Organizational Innovation Constraints

Xerox PARC, the Palo Alto Research Center, was founded in 1971 as an R&D center for the Stamford, Connecticut–based firm. Worried that new competitors from Japan would soon be entering the copier market as early photocopy patents expired, and concerned at what the “paperless office” of the future might entail for Xerox, the company created PARC with a mission of innovating for the future. As Larry Tesler, a researcher there recalls it, “The management said go create the new world” (Cringely, 1996, part 3).

From all reports, it was a very ...

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