Entrepreneur paper and presentation (minicomputer)

College level: The Interactive Minicomputer This paper reviews the contributions of Ken Olsen, who according tome is the most successful entrepreneur with the greatest impact in American business history. His biggest contribution was the invention of vital computer components. He also cofounded Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), the developer of the minicomputer.
As a young boy, he had managed to build a one-tube radio out of a piece of garbage together with his rebellious brother. With the radio, they were able to interrupt the local station so that Stan could sing his jingle, “ Murphy Meatballs.” (473). Between 1944 and 1945, the navy trained Olsen in Electrical Engineering. The training at the navy and his work experience at a General Electric Factory where he served to troubleshoot their FM radios enabled Olsen to join MIT as an undergraduate in February 1947. At MIT, he studied Electrical Engineering where he concentrated on magnets and generators but it was not until he graduated that he heard about computers after being offered a job in the computer lab (473). It was his love for electronic that earned Olsen a position in MIT computer lab and not the grades as was the norm. This was in 1950 during which period; the IBM computer was so large and operated on bunch cards. Olsen applied great vigor during his stay at MIT where he worked as a liaison engineer on the Whirlwind in his first year. Olsen is noted to have challenged the inefficiencies at MIT and, as a result, he was put in charge of the TX-0, a project to that enabled him to direct the building of  the first transistorized research computer(474). Olsen grew more determined that soon interactive, real-time mini- computers (474)
Olsen ventured into the entrepreneur field in 1957 when together with Harlan Anderson, an MIT colleague, approached the American Research and Development for a loan and founded DEC (475). Through DET, the minicomputer was possible, it was small and so cheap compared to the large IBM mainframe; cost was down by from between $1 million and $ 3million to about $125, 00 to $ 150, 000. DET was already bathing in success just a few years from its formation. Olsen however knew too well not to overrate their ability and at one point had to decline an order of 100 minicomputers by NASA since he felt their rate of production was still too small (476). Olsen also knew how to stay ahead of his competitors. While his competitors were looking into how to improve on his products, Olsen and his assistance were working on new products. This was for instance portrayed in 1964 when his competitors managed to create a mimic for his bulky computer at the time only for DEC to bring out a smaller, lighter, and greatly simplified computer retailing for only $ 18, 000. In addition to this DEC also created a standardized tele-type printer PDP-8 that went on to become very popular (476)
In 1966, DEC went public which made millions for the company while validating the concept of venture capital. Olsen kept on innovating; he pursued “ networking, standardizing technologies, and communication protocols (476).” Through the innovation, Olsen was able to have the DEC computers communicate with each other, allowing many people simultaneous access. DEC was so prosperous that, by 1978, they owned over forty percent of all computers in the world while IBM only controlled two percent of the market. DEC had risen to be the most admired company on America and employed over 100, 000 workers while profits were as high as $142 million. Olsen moments of glory were interrupted in 1981 when IBM became the first to manufacture a personal computer demoting DEC from computer democrat to aristocrat (477). Olsen only had a slim comeback in 1986 at around when DEC was worth $ 7. 6 billion in annual revenue (477). It was the competition for the 32-bit microprocessor that finally forced Olsen out of the helm after he suffered big losses in 1993 (477)
In my opinion, Olsen is the one of the most successful and significant entrepreneur of the 20th century. He gave hope to the world through his believe that the interactive minicomputer could be manufactured. Through his venture in the computer field of innovation, he opened doors for the conception of the supercomputers we have today. As an entrepreneur, one must admire his risk-taking especially the fact that he approached a capital venture firm when he had nothing at all; just armed with a brilliant idea. Being able to remain at the helm of the computer field for close to thirty-five years is a fete that few have managed to reciprocate.