*** RYAN TATE: Shocking secrets--revealed! ***





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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

From the But Don't Mince Words, Tell Us How You Really Feel Department --

A nice coda to my post on the meaninglessness of modern brands came this morning over email from William Dunk Partners and their Global Province e-mail newsletter, in which they wrote:

Once upon a time, when our hearts were young and gay, American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Corporation, and International Business Machines Corporation were great companies that greatly contributed to the commonweal.  Not one of them is ten feet tall today, and the fact that their names have been shortened into meaninglessness (e.g., AT&T, H-P, and IBM) aptly symbolizes their decline into short-sighted, hapless midgets.  AT&T once provided affordable universal phone service that actually worked to all America and was home to the lab that invented Americaıs technological future.  Now the phones work worse and cost more.  AT&T is about to be chewed up for breakfast by one of its undistinguished offspring (i.e., SBC apparently will snare it for $16 billion).  IBM has forsaken its machine roots, having most recently peddled its personal computer unit to the Chinese and often lost ground in its mainframe and server business, in order to become a gigantic Arthur Andersen type consulting house, an outsourcer, and a semi-software colossus.  It no longer sets the direction of computing in the world.  H-P, once the emblem of all thatıs good in engineering and research, now is a digital supermarket without a strategy that is probably headed towards breakup.  We must ask why Americaıs biggest and best have fallen into moral disrepair and economic disarray, no longer legacies to enrich our lives.  Itıs a great sadness. 

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