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Re: Another point about Mathematica 8.0

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  • Subject: [mg116542] Re: Another point about Mathematica 8.0
  • From: Daniel Lichtblau <danl at>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2011 05:12:25 -0500 (EST)

Kevin J. McCann wrote:
> I believe that was his really long 10th anniversary speech, and I recall 
> that he did say that it was the only time the company lost significant 
> money after the initial startup.
> Kevin

Mathematica 2.2 came out I think early in 1993. Mathematica 3.0 appeared 
around October of 1996. It is possible that Wolfram Research lost money 
at some point during those years, though I think we were told the the 
year-by-year figures were all (perhaps ever so slightly) in the black.

I mention this simply to point out that any significant loss of revenue 
would have been almost certainly due to a very long development cycle, 
rather than to the particulars of business management at that time. I 
doubt the then-COO was supportive of that long cycle with no 
intermediate releases.

I will take this opportunity to mention that I do not in general speak 
for my employer. In this instance I quite certainly am not doing so.

Daniel Lichtblau
Wolfram Research

> On 2/17/2011 5:21 AM, Murray Eisenberg wrote:
>> I vaguely recall the following, paraphrased, statement by Stephen
>> Wolfram at one of the conferences his company organized. At one point,
>> he brought in business people to run the business aspect of the company,
>> and it was a big mistake. (He may even have said that was the only time
>> the company didn't make a profit; that's the part I don't recall at all
>> precisely.)
>> On 2/16/2011 4:34 AM, AES wrote:
>>> 3)  I don't think Wolfram is much interested in what my business model
>>> for Mathematica would be (and that might be good judgement on their
>>> part!).  But if they asked, I'd say that I'd like a tiered or modular
>>> (or whatever you want to call it) approach where increasing more capable
>>> versions of Mathematica were available at increasing price points --
>>> just like most every other product in the marketplace.

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