appendix eWhat Happened?

A POSTSCRIPTGordon Bell

Every time I meet a DEC alum whom I haven’t seen for a decade or two, the talk quickly comes around to the inevitable question: What happened? This book gives a fine understanding based on Ed Schein’s perspective of corporate cultures, especially Digital’s. His observations, together with the various memos and reference interviews, stimulated me to state what I believe happened. I hope it will be a guide for other companies that will be tested and judged by these same laws that govern computing.

Although I left the company in 1983, I maintained communication with Digital and did consulting work, including reviewing its portfolio of failed start-up ventures. In 1986 while leading the government’s ...

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