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Symb. vs. convention AND new products

    Date: Wed, 29 Jul 87 15:29 EDT
    From: Richard Billington <Buff@cis.upenn.edu>

    A note on Symbolics marketing: at Slug '87 a 'bolics marketing type said
    "we aren't and are not going to be in the general computing market competing
    with DEC, IBM, etc". On reflection, I find this amusing. Perhaps Symbolics
    doesn't perceive themselves in the general computing market, but certainly
    the general computing market is Symbolics most vigorous competition -
    Sun, Dec, HP all compare the performance of their general purpose computers
    against Symbolics ... who does Symbolics think they're losing sales to? TI?

Perhaps I can clarify the comment.  A "market" (more properly, a "market
segment") is a set of people in a common set of circumstances.  It's not
a set of companies.  Each of the companies serves many different market
segments.  The comment referred to a "general computing market segment",
which means the set of people who are buying computers to do "general"
things, i.e. the things the great majority of computers are sold for,
whatever that may be.  DEC and IBM certainly domainate that market
segment.  The comment says that Symbolics is not going to try to sell
computers that way, to that whole set of people, for doing ordinary and
common things.  I think it's obvious that any small company that tried
to compete in that market segment has no hope against the huge

Instead, Symbolics is trying to compete in a more limited market
segment, that is, is trying to sell to a more specific kind of user.
Certainly DEC and Sun and other companies are also spending some of
their energies going after that same market segment.  That does not
contradict the remark.  I hope that clears it up.