Hickson on Evolution of the Company “Species”
Excellent analysis by Ian Hickson of competition in the software industry. You hear a lot of throwaway comments about Microsoft versus Google, Apple versus Microsoft, Linux or Firefox against the rest, etc. This article is a sharp, big picture view of the competitive relationships between these companies. As John Gruber has often pointed out, you need to pay attention to how companies make money. For Microsoft it’s selling a lot of software. For Google it’s selling advertising space. For Apple it’s selling hardware at high profits in different markets. For the Mozilla Corporation it’s kickbacks from driving tons of traffic to Google’s advertisers, or to Amazon, etc. Hixie also considers whether the companies even need to make money for the products to survive as competitive entities. He reasons that Microsoft has used it’s size to compete, while the others have generally succeeded by making a better product, and that overall this “evolutionary” context is a good sign for the industry, and for end users. It’s a great read.
Kind of related to this post, Rails is a Ghetto is a story about the dark side of the software “industry” from a developer’s perspective.
Zed Shaw is the disgruntled former developer of a webserver called Mongrel. Mongrel can (and probably should) be used in deploying production grade Ruby on Rails webapps. In this rant, Zed makes his distaste for what the Ruby community has become quite clear.
January 8th, 2008 at 6:07 pm #
Great post, in need of some editing. But I did wade through it and was entertained and greatly enlightened. (A better way to grasp the sheer depth of things I don’t know.) But how is it related? I mean, what about the short post above made you draw a connection to the long story in Zed’s post?
January 9th, 2008 at 1:18 am #
Just a whimsical link based on the words “Software” and “Industry”. Sometimes it is just easier to accept the random connections that my brain makes…
I was impressed with his analysis of how a mid-tier consulting firm works. That was the real connection for me.
January 10th, 2008 at 2:34 am #
Sure, fair enough. Just thought I was missing something.
Completely agree, that was fascinating. Can’t remember what led me to this (you? or maybe Zed’s own blog), but Rickard Öberg recently discussed the same problem.
January 10th, 2008 at 9:26 pm #