Top > Dave's World > Weblog Archive > 2001 > April > 29Previous/Next

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Sunday, April 29, 2001. Sunday, April 29, 2001

WriteTheWeb: "Online marketing has never been this smart."

Doc Searls has a tribute today to Bernie DeKoven.

Watch Craig Burton work.

They're discussing RSS on Slashdot. This post comes closest to my pov. Working together means not breaking all the developers who implemented 0.91 channels, regardless of how right you think you are.

Zeldman: "You cannot reason with shrieking men."

Cringely: "Ask Not for Whom the Internet Bubble Bursts, It Bursts for Thee."

A new XML-RPC for Java called Marquée.

Bruce Campbell dresses Bill Joy as a super-hero. I don't know if it works.

Jakob Nielsen: "How can I apply the term 'nerdy' to a product named 'Eggy'?"

Strategy Tax Permanent link to 'Strategy Tax' in archives.

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.

First, there were people at Microsoft, notably Ben Slivka and Brad Silverberg, who would probably have endorsed my proposal that the browser be in a separate company, and 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, and nowhere was the penalty felt as deeply as in MSIE. There's no doubt that lock-in is the Big Thing for both Gates and Ballmer and the product people are restricted from doing anything that could undermine Windows, even in subtle ways.

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. One thing's for sure, neither of them loved the Web, yet we're supposed to trust them with the Web browser. This is a source of much friction.

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. They still want to own everything.

It's the most centralized system imaginable. All ideas die in Microsoft. Well enough of that. 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.

To the rest of us, they're only 45,000 people. If we ever started listening to and helping each other they wouldn't have a chance at domination. Interestingly the answer is right in our faces. It's called the Internet. They use it at Microsoft. They have to work with each other, a little. If we could do the same, outside of Microsoft, we could skip a few more years of fighting with them over our future.

PS: StrategyTax.Com is taken.

PPS: Don't think jumping into Sun's bathtub is any better. They have strategy taxes too. Two of em. Java and SPARC.


Last update: Sunday, April 29, 2001 at 10:14 PM Eastern.

Dave Winer Mailto icon

Click here to view the OPML version of Scripting News.

Morning Coffee Notes, an occasional podcast by Scripting News Editor, Dave Winer.

April 2001
Mar   May

Click here to see an XML representation of the content of this weblog.


© Copyright 1997-2005 Dave Winer. The picture at the top of the page may change from time to time. Previous graphics are archived.