Ray Remembers When

Itty Bitty Machine Co. / Ted Nelson

Did I tell you I got an email from Ted Nelson today? He finally got a chance to answer the note I sent him when you first gave me his email address. I was a little afraid he blamed me for the failure of "itty bitty machine co." because I dragged my feet on the planned merger. But in his note he makes it clear that he blames the other principals in the company for misinterpreting the market as nothing but a hobbyist and "toy" computer market.


So here is a little more about the Data Domain and itty bitty machine. Our original agreement was to gradually merge the two into one business with (of course) Ted's itty bitty machine co. as the surviving name. At first I thought it to be a good idea because of the PR value of Ted's name, and the fact that there were some other pretty impressive people in Chicago involved. But during the next few months it became obvious that I (and the Data Domain) knew how to do the necessary wheeling and dealing to make cash flow, where itty bitty did not do nearly as well, and the Data Domain out sold them by about a hundred to one. But Ted and the other Chicago people who backed itty bitty continued to press the matter well on into early 1977, when finances began to get tight for both companies and communications between us gradually just petered out. For all I know Ted may blame me for the failure of itty bitty and never answer my note, but we'll see.