Newton helped contribute to ‘Silicon Valley Syndrome’

From Stanford’s Ethical Issues in Engineering:

In some fields of contemporary engineering in some countries, engineers work extremely long days and weeks, often under deadlines. Such engineers are often under immense pressure to achieve often-unrealistic project goals, as was the case from 1989 to 1992 during the development of the original Apple Newton. Psychiatrists coined the phrase “Silicon Valley Syndrome” to refer to the fact that the divorce rate and levels of alcohol and drug abuse are much higher in Silicon Valley than in the U.S. as a whole.

The “immense pressure” claimed one victim during the Newton’s development: programmer Ko Isono, who committed suicide on December 12, 1992.

Isono was said to have succumbed to the extreme pressure and deadlines while working on the first Newton MessagePad.

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