Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How did Fax escape the Stack?

Some technologies are ubiquitous, yet they have not been commoditized to the point of becoming part of the core product stack. Fax is one of these technologies. Two others I can think of are Document Capture (scanning) and Storage. Yes, there has been a lot of consolidation in these industries with clear leaders in these areas. However, these few areas have escaped the stack. What others can you think of that have escaped the stack? (comments please). 

What is the tipping point that pulls a technology into the stack?


A few technologies that used to be out of the product stack have been consumed or subsumed into the core product stack. A few examples of companies that were vying to be the leader in the space include data compression (remember Stac Electronics?), Internet Protocol stacks (remember Netmanage Chameleon?), and screen savers (remember After Dark’s Flying Toasters?).

While it might seem obvious and logical that some of these formerly independent technologies become part of the product stack I’m still trying to figure out why technologies like fax escaped the product stack.  I’d love to hear your thoughts. What other examples can you remember that have been consumed by the stack?

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