Top > Dave's World > Weblog Archive > 2006 > February > 03Previous/Next

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Friday, February 03, 2006. Friday, February 03, 2006

Flickr diagram: Big Life Lesson #1Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Don Dodge interviews Gabe Rivera, the author of Memeorandum. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Ron Bloom: "Radio sucks." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A moment worth preserving. A story that's both new and #1 at the same instant. That's a hot story!  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Here's a schnook who thinks the Windows desktop is the only place people run software. The FUD is already starting. I can feel my air supply being cut off. Just kidding.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Schnook is a Yiddish word.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Thanks to Jeff Cheney for the pointer to an excellent list of time-savers for Frontier users that Brent Simmons wrote five years ago. Most of them also work in the OPML Editor. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

It's a different world today Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Adam Green: "Microsoft long ago mastered the trick of calculating exactly the minimal feature set needed to suck the air out of a market it wants to enter."

Like me, Adam is a dinosaur who walked the earth in the days when little software animals had to scurry and run for cover when a giant invades. But it's a different world today, because we don't depend on industry trade publications to get news of our products to users. Those publications didn't prove dependable because it was in their interest to promote the products of their largest advertisers. That's why, if it were 1986, I might agree with Adam, but it's not 1986, it's 2006.

It's possible, even likely that Microsoft's RSS technology will be the most-installed, and their influence on the future of the format will be considerable, and it concerns me that at some point they may throw their weight around like Apple is (I think it's pretty likely they will, if not this year, then next year, or the year after that).

But none of that means that I can't find enough users for my aggregator, and you for yours, to be able to continue development and influence the market, because we don't have to convince the editors of PC Mag and PC Week that our products matter. When the big dinosaurs, Microsoft, Lotus and Ashton-Tate, and later Borland, wanted our market, the publications had little choice but to give it to them. Now I am a publication myself. I can communicate directly with users. That changes everything.

But even back then, if their product wasn't up to the job, their attempts to take the market often failed. I remember when the CEO of a very large software company came to me as a friend (hah) and said I should get out of his way because he was going to take my market. His product was inadequate, and it didn't work. He tried again, and again it didn't work. And again, and again. And my product was still standing. So even in the 80s, size wasn't enough to get you a market.

[[A picture named ketchupTilt.jpgMicrosoft took spreadsheets by being much better than Lotus on the Mac. Word emerged from the flock of word processors by being the first to make it to Windows in a usable fashion. Adam, I don't have to tell you how dBASE fell to Fox. I don't think they would have overcome any of their competitors back in the 80s, if their product had been as weak as their aggregator product is today. Same thing is true, by the way, in their competition with Netscape. Microsoft's browser probably would have won on its merits, they didn't need to use anti-competitive tactics, their product was better enough, and their development methodology strong, they would would have won anyway, imho. (And so I argued, even pleaded, at the time.)

On the other hand, the aggregator developers could sure use some competition! In the last four years there really hasn't been very much improvement, in fact I think in many ways we've lost capabilities that we once had. Maybe a little pressure from a BigCo will separate the winners from the losers in this space, and we can start thinking about a market that is, instead of a market that will be.


Last update: Friday, February 03, 2006 at 4:57 PM Eastern.

Dave Winer Mailto icon


Click here to read blogs commenting on today's Scripting News.

Community Directory
A picture named folder.gif On this day in
A picture named folder.gif OPML Editor Docs
A picture named folder.gif TechCrunch reviews
A picture named folder.gif Amyloo's community car roll
A picture named folder.gif XML-RPC Directory
A picture named folder.gif Tim Post's Tomorrow
A picture named folder.gif LibriVox
A picture named folder.gif News.Com Top 100
A picture named folder.gif BloggerCon III Blogroll
A picture named folder.gif Public Radio podcasts
A picture named folder.gif directory
A picture named folder.gif Memeorandum
A picture named folder.gif DaveNet archive
A picture named folder.gif Scripting News sites
Click here to view the OPML source for this directory.

Click here to see a list of recently updated OPML weblogs.

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

February 2006
Jan   Mar

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

Click here to view the OPML version of Scripting News.


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