In memoriam SGI

Quentin’s right. The news that Silicon Graphics has filed for Chapter 11 protection does represent the end of an era. It was such an interesting company in the old days. And, as Michael Lewis retailed in his book, The new new thing, what happened to Jim Clark (the founder of SGI) had a big influence on the creation of Netscape, and thereby on the evolution of the Web. (It was the Netscape IPO in August 1995 that sparked off the first Internet boom.)

Dan Gillmor says this on his blog:

This entirely unsurprising development is the culmination of years of bad decisions and hubris from a company that once led the world in its field.

The worst decision was the one then-CEO Rick Belluzzo made years ago, when he turned SGI into just another company selling Windows computers. He later moved to Microsoft, adding insult to the injury he’d done SGI.

The beautiful headquarters building — another example of hubris so common in the Valley — in Mountain View now houses the Computer History Museum. At least something good came out of this debacle.