Xerox: The Noun That Became A Verb, Expired


In the late 70s and 80s, when I was growing up and started working, this was the poster boy for all that was hi-tech, innovation, corporate norms and a great place to work. Xerox, a brand name, which became a multi-billion dollar business with its copying technology, which was one of the iconic brand names of 20th century, quietly passed into oblivion on Wednesday night.

The 115-year-old company passed into the hands of Fujifilm, the Japanese conglomerate. The entity, Fuji Xerox, will continue to be traded under the existing Xerox’s ticker symbol XRX.

The story of Xerox is also a story of innovation, global growth and a constant but nagging inability to change in the middle of success. Despite the tea leaves indicating clearly that the company had to go digital and create products that are compatible with the IT wave, Xerox continued to ignore the warnings. Series of CEOs came, and eventually left, with the same feeling – a brand that fell because it was too big, and too complacent. Xerox, followed the path laid by Kodak and Blackberry, two other global brands that had a similar storyline. As renowned Leadership Coach Marshall Goldsmith said, “What got you here, won’t get you there.” 

Uber is testing bicycle sharing

Starting next, Uber will let users in San Francisco reserve pedal assist electric bicycles using the ubiquitous Uber app. According to a report in NYT, the car hailing company is working with Jump Bikes, a bike sharing company which has permits in SFO. Given the kind of gridlocks that are seen in many Indian cities, it is not clear whether this kind of a service would be available from Uber in India, at all. Of course, more than gridlocks, Uber can be excused for their genuine concern over the safety of their bikes, given our ‘Jugaad’ mindset and the ineffective policing that fails to control such tendencies.

Alibaba’s next port of call – Hospitals, no, really!

In a move that combines the existing healthcare woes and technology, Alibaba and Tencent, two China’s largest firms have now focused on putting to use Artificial Intelligence to dramatically change the medical care provision in China, which has roughly 1.5 doctors for every 1000 people, still a lot better than India’s 1:1700. According to NYT, the two companies are taking bulk of the Medicare related services such as diagnostics, leaving the doctors to perform more efficiently.