“A camel is a horse designed by a committee.”
THE LAUNCH OF APPLE’S IPAD was bad news for rival computer companies. One of the hardest hit was Microsoft, which a decade earlier had been the first to produce commercially viable tablet computers but had dropped the innovation because of fears that tablets would suck resources from mainstream products.
In theory, that should not happen. In theory, firms allocate resources to where they can do most good. Employees, moreover, do as they are told. But theory is a poor guide to what happens in practice. Firms do not always select the best, or economically wisest, course of action. Even if they do, it does not mean that decisions are always ...