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Sunday, November 27, 1994 by Dave Winer.

Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom is going to be a big one. It's the Sunday after Thanksgiving and I've already received a dozen pieces of mail about it.

Some observations, based on the comments I've received so far...

1. Whether or not there's any hope for Apple, there are lessons that can be learned here. There are other platforms, and there will be more. Let's archive what we've learned here so others don't have to repeat these mistakes. Apple's ability to respond is irrelevent. [Personally I do believe there's hope for Apple, $10 billion companies don't just disappear, but even if I didn't I'd still have written and released the piece.]

2. Maybe Apple *really* is licensing the OS in a meaningful way? Then there will soon be other companies in the Macintosh business. Maybe they can compete with Apple by working better with developers? Isn't this a *really* interesting idea? The tables may turn, Apple may be competing for the attention of developers, in a way that even they can't miss. [I'd love to hear from one or more of Apple's licensees. Please give me a call. We could make some amazing stuff happen.]

3. Lately, the trades, particularly PC WEEK, have been pretty doomy and gloomy on Apple. I wanted to point out that there's a possible upside to Apple's downsizing. At this point licensing would be great, but there's much more that can be done besides licensing.

4. Finally, even if Apple still tries to make it seem like all the important software comes from them, by airing these views so publicly, I hoped to create some space for significant software to come from places other than Apple. In other words, Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom was written for everyone, not just for people who work at Apple.

Hope you had a great holiday! (Now back to work...)

Dave Winer

PS: I've gotten some great rants from ex-Apple people, unfortunately all have been off the record. I wish people would stay on the record unless there's a real important (i.e. life-threatening) reason to be off the record. It's OK to be spontaneous, humorous, ironic, and even a little mean in email. Here's an example -- did you know that Gurshuran Sidhu's nickname is Scooby? Scooby Sidhu! If you know Professor Sidhu, or of his wild ambitions and adventures at Apple, or have sat thru one of his half-day seminars, you'll certainly appreciate the humor here. Some people may think that Sculley gave Sidhu the license to shut down the Mac networking market just to get him to shut up! And what about Roger Heinen? Why didn't he just do the honorable thing and kill himself? (Just joking, please! Roger, I hope you're happy and healthy.)

PPS: Ironic, on-the-record public humor was tolerated long before email. A famous author, on hearing that Calvin Coolidge was dead, asked "How can you tell?"

PPPS: To Peter Friedman, of Apple, quoted in Business Week complaining that Microsoft Network is anti-competitive, even though Apple bundles the Eworld client with the Mac OS: Get a life Peter. Have you no shame? Eworld is evaporating all on its own. The Eworld experience is a perfect example of how Apple can and regularly does break things that work, like AppleLink. Such bold hypocrisy! What chutzpah!

PPPPS: I hear that Apple is simplifying the API and producing sample code for TCP/IP communication. I haven't received any info from Apple on this. Would someone please tell me what's going on? I'm getting ready to convert my software to use TCP as its transport, so it would be a very good time for us to work together. We may be re-inventing each other's wheels.


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© Copyright 1994-2004 Dave Winer. Last update: 2/5/07; 10:50:05 AM Pacific. "There's no time like now."