Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.
scriptingNews outline for 4/29/2001
Author: Dave Winer Posted: 4/29/2001; 4:00:20 PM Topic: scriptingNews outline for 4/29/2001 Msg #: 22163 Prev/Next: 22162 / 22164
WriteTheWeb: "Online marketing has never been this smart."
Scripting News was not nominated for a Webby, again. We've never won an award, for anything. Maybe that's a good thing. I've given up trying to figure out why. What ever.
Zeldman: "You cannot reason with shrieking men."
Jakob Nielsen: "How can I apply the term 'nerdy' to a product named 'Eggy'?"
Hey some people who write books have an idea which book I'm reading, and am almost finished with. Before you gloat too much, it became a great book around chapter 4. When it comes out I'm going to recommend everyone who wants to understand how the Web became a disaster read it so we can make sure it never happens again. Lots of new observations.
First, there were people at Microsoft, notably Ben Slivka and Brad Silverberg, who would have endorsed my proposal that the browser be in a separate company, not tied to Windows. According to the book, most of the mid-level managers, who actually met separately, would have endorsed it too. The "Strategy Tax" is a big issue inside Microsoft. There's no doubt that lock-in is the Big Thing for both Gates and Ballmer. What else? Ballmer didn't understand how the Web worked until 1998. Get that. He's making big decisions for the Web, and didn't even bother to find out what it is. How humiliating is that? It's probably true of Gates as well. As I suspected they could have avoided the antitrust trial, easily. Gates is not much-loved in his own company (that was a surprise). What else did I learn? Well, I know this is just one point of view. But the story resonates with my experience. It's so funny that they want to get a developer thing going again, when they spent the last eight years undermining the developers. They're in for a rude surprise when we don't all flock to their latest lock-in strategy.
Bottom-line, the software industry, like every other industry, must have competition. Microsoft is a dead-zone for lots of former competitive categories. When a category gets sucked into Microsoft it ends up in Bill's mind, and dies. They can argue all they want (they do) but it's empirically evident. You'd have to be blind not to see it. Net-net, they still want to own everything. This ends up being very negative, to put it mildly. It's the most centralized system imaginable. All ideas die in Microsoft. Well enough of that. OK? What do you people say. Got any guts? Care to say no to Bill and Steve and their lock-in strategy du jour? If the Microsoft people hate the strategy tax, what about the rest of us? Why should we pay that tax? I don't get it.
Now more than ever we have to work together. No lock in. Lots of good little companies. Goodbye to the death star. Become a bank, venture capitalist, consulting company, whatever. Sell your operating system. They wonder why the developers don't flock to Windows anymore. They poisoned the well. Geez. It's so obvious.
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