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Embrace, extend, extinguish

 

Techniques > Resisting persuasion > Embrace, extend, extinguish

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

Start by agreeing wholeheartedly with the idea. Go along to meetings, be an advocate and become a leading light.

Then notice limitations of the idea and create extensions to it to cope with your very legitimate concerns. Keep doing this until you are in control.

Then, when people can no longer keep up point out that the system is now unworkable and problematic and so should be terminated. Alternatively quietly drop the system in favor of a new and improved system which you own, lock, stock and barrel.

Example

Microsoft developed its own version of Java, a web programming language, with various extensions that would only work on Microsoft platforms, thus inhibiting Java from becoming a platform-independent system. Internet Explorer also was not fully compatible with open worldwide web standards.

Discussion

Embracing develops trust, showing enthusiasm and lets you get close to the core of what you actually oppose. Extension then corrupts the system, preventing its universal use. This leads others to becoming frustrated with the system and eventually applauding you when you kill it.

'Embrace, extend, extinguish' was a method purportedly used by Microsoft to confound those who would produce standards that support freer trade and competition against Microsoft.

See also

Authority principle,

 

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