Texas Instruments’ famous last words

by Joey deVilla on May 15, 2017

Texas Instruments should have simply issued this statement
to upstart online calculator vendor Desmos.

If you don’t get what “welcome to your tape” means, keep reading!

In response to the existential threat that free online graphing calculator startup Desmos is to old-school physical calculator manufacturer Texas Instruments (often called “TI” for short), here’s what TI’s president of education technology had to say in a recent Bloomberg News story:

“Our products include only the features that students need in the classroom, without the many distractions or test security concerns that come with smartphones, tablets and internet access.”

Remember that quote. “We’re better because we do less and charge more for it” is often the battle cry of a slow-moving, complacent incumbent about to be trounced by an upstart that’s aware of changing technologies and markets.

Desmos got their first serious public exposure when they launched at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC in 2011 as a platform for collaborating on lessons plans and building and publishing interactive lessons. Even then, they had Texas Instruments in their sights — at their launch, Desmos founder Eli Luberoff said “Texas Instruments, your monopoly on graphing in the classroom is over.”

Since then, they’ve:

With all this and the fact that physical calculator tech hasn’t changed much in power or price over the past 20 years while mobile tech has advanced in leaps and bounds, Desmos is on track to displacing Texas Instruments as the calculator of choice for high school and university.

Okay, please explain “Welcome to your tape”

It’s a new catchphrase that comes from the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which is about a high school student’s decision to commit suicide. Hannah Baker, the student in question, left behind a collection of cassette tapes explaining the thirteen reasons why she killed herself. Each tape addressed a specific student in her class and opened with “Welcome to your tape, [student’s name here]” — basically a message that says “You are one of the reasons why I chose suicide.”

As you should have come to expect, “Welcome to your tape” has been memed.

 

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