Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Andreesen "Grows Up"

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the aging-and-changing dept.

The Internet 281

inah writes "The original poster boy for the old .com economy and how he's currently doing. "The poster-child who grew up" from The Economist."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Peace Through Power (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 12 years ago | (#3139938)

TSOL - Peace Through Power

A lonely teenage daydream
Of things that I might have been
A surreal kind of thinking
Keeps drifting in on me
The Remington Electric
I'm banging on its keys
The words appear before me
Their meaning's guaranteed
A foreboding gloom upon us
Of death ribbons and bows
A gift to our generation from
the men who have gone before
My twisted body is lifeless
Not so their twisted minds
Peace through power is their motto
Power through peace is their crime
A sadistic smile spreads across my face
Amid my mournful wail
For although they killed a world
Their fate was also sealed

Re:Peace Through Power (-1)

returnofthe_spork (552824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140082)

Congrats The Lyrics Guy, this is an excellent FP.

Good Day.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3139939)

fp :P

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3139954)

Damn, blew it.

This is probably to late, but oh well. (-1)

Pr0n K1ng (160688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3139943)

Get it inside of yourself!

I did not get first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3139950)

BUT I AM POAST! Thanks to gabe for the mtn. dew.

-Your apt. mate, Mark

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3139952)

there!

Netscape was Novell (I love puns!) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3139955)

Loadcloud is just...... The same as every other internet provider out there.

Just the pix (1)

cwernli (18353) | more than 12 years ago | (#3139960)

The difference of evolution of the visual apperance Browser and the Creator (the former from sleak to bulky, the latter from round-faced to lean) explains pretty much the difference in perspectives. Netscape's doomed, and Mark is well off.

Loudcloud vs. Netscape (1)

klaviman (543484) | more than 12 years ago | (#3139970)

I think it's interesting to see the stock prices for Loudcloud since their IPO compared to Netscape's... I'm interested to see how Loudcloud will fare in this new economy.

When Will Slashdot Grow up?? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3139972)

slashdot was also the poster boy for the linux era. they sold their website to a dotcom and now are charging "subscriptions". Yet they have hardly changed since this site was a college thing. Inaccuracies, half-truths, bad spelling, and rabid sensationalism still abound.

Will having people actually pay directly for this thing actually turn that around? I will wait before I cough up any cash.

Re:When Will Slashdot Grow up?? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140015)

Welcome to Slashdoubt: gnus lack physique.

The Slashdot sellout was bound to happen eventually.

all ready read it (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3139977)

Well, due to all the childish garbage that seems to occur in nearly every thread throughout /. these days, I've turned to other reading. The economist, (despite...or because of), being from Outside the US, seems to have great indepth stories regarding worldwide topics. Although, unfortunately, our news seems to be of overpowering interest...particularly Bush's debacles.

Yes he has grown up. You'd have thought that he would have kept some of his youthful ideals. But alas, he, like everyone, has to "join the real world" (read suck up to everyone who can somehow get you $$). Wearing a suit isn't the end of the world (heck he even looks good in it). But it is sure telling that the "internet revolution", is over, instead becoming just another corporate jostling match for supremacy. While it strives for legitimacy, let's hope that those with Marc's vision can keep some of the wonder alive.

Re:all ready read it (1)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140338)

On a related note, I saw today that Tom's Hardware has teamed up with The Register. You should go check out the reasons why, they claim they will be able to provide much more un-biased material than most other sites put out. Check out the "burn in hell" comment they make about the bias due to money influence in IT news.

What was he doing in 1991? (5, Funny)

seizer (16950) | more than 12 years ago | (#3139978)

What was our posterboy doing in 1991? That's right, posting to alt.sex about his fave porn films.

Don't believe me?

You should [google.com] .

Re:HAHA - What was he doing in 1991? (2, Funny)

microbob (29155) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140032)

Hehe, good one.

At least it wasn't GAY PORN.

What is he doing in 2002? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140048)

but there were fortunes to be made at the "back-end" selling services

maybe the author of the article saw the same post.

Re:What was he doing in 1991? (2)

hex1848 (182881) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140057)

Brings up the downside of googles vast archives. I wouldnt doubt it if he goes back and has that post removed [google.com] soon.

Re:What was he doing in 1991? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140250)

I went in and tore out a lot of my Usenet comments from the mid 90's. I was a goddamn idiot Linux shill on the .advocacy newsgroups. Boy what an idiot I was.

Re:What was he doing in 1991? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140301)

>Boy what an idiot I was.

Things don't change much, do they?

God forbid. . . (4, Insightful)

J23SE (107309) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140059)

You ever get into a position of some power, and some jackass starts digging up crap from your early days. It doesn't matter, he wouldn't find anything 'naughty', because we know you, like all of us, are perfect. It's irrelevant whether one posts on slashdot, jacks off to porn, or whether he or she posts to alt.sex.fluffy-toys.barney in his or her free time. That's personal. Don't let personal interfere with professional. Perfect example that most slashdotters should be familiar with now: Nash. I could go around saying:

What was our posterboy doing in 1963? That's right, hanging around gay bars looking to satisfy his fetishes.

Who cares? The man's a genius. Let him do with his frickin' free time as he wishes. Not all succesful people have to be bereft of life, humor, or recklessness. Not all successful people are perfect. Some are. . . guess what, they're boring.

Re:God forbid. . . (2, Funny)

Pussy Is Money (527357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140114)

The point is, would you shake hands with a man who frequents alt.sex.deep-fisting?

Re:God forbid. . . (1)

seizer (16950) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140123)

Relax. Never claimed perfectness. Never said his posts were anything other than funny. =)

Re:God forbid. . . (1)

J23SE (107309) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140191)

Blah, whether intentional or not... the wording of your post backs up my viewpoint.

Your juxtapositioning of his professional life (through the use of the word 'posterboy') and his personal life (porno watching) implies that his achievements should be viewed in light of his personal activities.

Just so you know that wasn't a completely unfounded irrational response;)

Re:God forbid. . . [OT] (1)

seizer (16950) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140223)

"Poster boy" was the epithet bestowed on him in the blurb at the top of the story, but having said that, it's all a bit irrelevant, because my comment did come across as implying he should be judged in light of all his facets, not just business ones.

I should shut up and go code something useful :-) Thanks for the pedantry, though :-)

Re:God forbid. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140259)

Well, since his 'achivements' amounted to hooking up with a Venture Capitalist, grabbing the Mosaic source code, closing the source, taking it west, founding Netscape and adding proprietary tags that broke the HTML standard, I would say that being a porn-dog might be considered MORE respectable by some of the folks who visit this forum.

Re:What was he doing in 1991? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140095)

For finding that gem, you've just won today's You're The Man Now, Dog [yourethemannowdog.com] award. Congratulations.

Re:What was he doing in 1991? (5, Interesting)

Ratbert42 (452340) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140101)

I still remember Usenet threads like this [google.com] back when he started what became Netscape. Fascinating to go back and see the mindset at the time.

Re:What was he doing in 1991? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140270)

Yep. That's from back in the period when they had just stolen the Mosaic Project from the University of Illinois and still hadn't figured out they couldn't close the source and sell it under the name Mosaic.

The little putz back then thought he could be the next Bill Gates.

You are so fucking wrong about that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140331)

I am going to share this with some pals. We'll all have a nice laugh, but not for the reason you're probably thinking.

Re:What was he doing in 1991? (3, Interesting)

Cheshire Cat (105171) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140280)

Actually I found this thread [google.com] to be of even more interest. I quote:


Erm? Correct me if I'm wrong, but are commercial activities on the Internet
suddenly smiled upon? It sounds very much like you know what you're doing,
but I can't say I've ever seen an Internet server dedicated to the commercial
aspects of electronic communication (short of Compu$erve, and that doesn't
really count). Mind explaining where the loophole lies?


Pretty interesting view of the Internet at the time, no?

Re:What was he doing in 1991? (1)

abulafia (7826) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140361)

My personal favorite post. Aside from the fact that the first paragraph ended up being extremely incorrect, I think Chuck got a lot of things right (Nevermind that he couldn't forsee AOL becoming the "virtual mall", or as some still call it, "walled garden", he's dead on):

(Fuck the lameness filter... first time I've hit it doing this, and I don't feel like figuring out why when I'm leaving the house in 10 minutes. You'll have to read it on Google, instead of /.)

Interesting take on things to be. [google.com]

Re:What was he doing in 1991? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140379)

First of all, I think you are pond scum. He was probably 16 at the time. I have posted similar things on usenet many years ago at around that age. No, google, you don't have my implied permission to archive that stuff for years to come and make it searchable. This is precisely why. Sure, this one weasely slashdot troll won't make a difference to Andreesen, but imagine if some of the things you posted on newsgroups, or said on IRC, or ICQ, were posted anonymously to your employer. Is that the sort of world you want to live in?

Second, your sig is in basic... basic. No one uses basic any more do they? Anyway, I knocked you up a slightly less retarded version:
echo "jkhunlqCxnvkhoov1fr1xn"|tr [C-Zd-z1] [@A-Wa-w.]
Use it if you want to get email from linux weenies instead of VBA weenies.

anonymous cos some of my friends read my posts, and use google.

Can't put my finger on it (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 12 years ago | (#3139982)

Something has annoyed me in the last couple of days about LoudCloud, but I can't remember what it was.

At least I found one thing they have in common with Netscape, besides Andreesen here [fuckedcompany.com] .

They should have a good market, and it would be nice to see them succeed though.

Isnt it time we all GROW UP? (2)

andres32a (448314) | more than 12 years ago | (#3139987)

"What was once the province of geeks is now ruled by suits."
Slashdot ruled by suits... imagine that!

Re:Isnt it time we all GROW UP? (2)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140182)

Yeah.. I'd actually get to moderate again and won't get chastized for modding up an actual insightful comment an editor had a problem with.

Eh, fuck it, not worth it anyway. The best thing that could happen to Slashdot is somebody starts running it like an actual business organization (even NPO's have a board)

Only 999 more to go (-1, Troll)

SubscriptionTroll (564889) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140002)

I am SubscriptionTroll and you just paid $5 to view 1000 pages of me!!

Favorite Quote (1)

Over_and_Done (536751) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140004)

"Another decision, made early on, was that the new firm should not compete with Microsoft. "Everybody should be in a business once in their lives that competes with Microsoft, just for the experience," says Mr Andreessen."

'Nuff said

I'm not an expert on accounting by any means (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140005)

but this guy's firm did one hell of a job with Enron.

Link slashdotted. oh well.

LoudCloud can't compete either (2, Insightful)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140010)

He blamed MS for netscape's failure. Now who exactly will he blame for LoudCloud's failure? Perhaps one day he'll realise that he should blame himself.

Re:LoudCloud can't compete either (4, Insightful)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140092)

Yes, he should blame himself. Just like *censored religious denomination* should blame themselves for the *censored historical event*, instead of the *censored german political party*. Just like the blacks should blame themselves for slavery. Or perhaps even like rape victims, they do dress like sluts, you know.

This isn't a flame. Netscape did many stupid things, like many big companies do stupid things. All of which are fair game, in my book. But, it is commonly accepted that they fell victim to M$, and that M$ cheated. A court of law ruled as such. It is always the criminal's fault, not the victim's. That said... potential crime victims do need to be careful.

*** I self censored this... didn't feel like being the first person to compare M$ to *censored german political party*.

Re:LoudCloud can't compete either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140210)

Just like the blacks should blame themselves for slavery.

Actually, there's more truth to that than you possible know. Most of the black slave trade originated in Africa with the black tribal leaders selling their own people to make money.

But hey, we can't have people knowing the truth about this because it might upset the notion of having privileged classes.

Re:LoudCloud can't compete either (0, Offtopic)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140258)

Wow. I refused to use the word nazi, and I get trolled by them anyway. Or do you klansmen dislike being lumped in with them?

Re:LoudCloud can't compete either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140271)

Actually, if you dig a little deeper, you will notice that my argument was for the fact that everyone is the same -- black people and white people both participated in the slave trade. There is no "noble savage", and there was no "scum european", everybody was scum.

Re:LoudCloud can't compete either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140315)

everybody was scum

everybody still is scum

Re:LoudCloud can't compete either (0, Offtopic)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140439)

Hmm. As a practiced cynic, I usually just snicker at the amateurs. You Sir, are a professional. I applaud you.

Re:LoudCloud can't compete either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140347)

But hey, we can't have people knowing the truth about this because it might upset the notion of having privileged classes.


This is the USA. "Everyone" is middle-class. There is no such thing as class here.

Re:LoudCloud can't compete either (2)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140282)

Then how come LoudCloud is laying off 120 employees? Don't tell me that once again he fell victim to MS even though he's not competing with them.

Re:LoudCloud can't compete either (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140192)

Konqueror continues to make great strides in speed and galeon looks great for the limited development time they've had, but IE still is the best browser. It just is.

'The Economist' is guilty of wishful thinking (4, Interesting)

Jack William Bell (84469) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140012)

The closing paragraph of the article reads:

The Internet has changed, too, as Mr Andreessen's own journey from Netscape to Loudcloud illustrates. What was once the province of geeks is now ruled by suits. The web has become the basis of a vast and complex industry dominated by large companies. Even though it started as a consumer-led phenomenon, the Internet's greatest impact has been on business. There turned out to be very little money in selling "front-end" software such as browsers to consumers; but there were fortunes to be made at the "back-end" selling services, software, storage and hardware to companies. Loudcloud may be successful in its own way, but it will not be the Netscape of the decade, the dawn of a new world. The Internet, like its poster-boy, has grown up.

This is clearly the kind of thing that the editors and readers of The Economist would like to believe about the Internet: The show is over, nothing more to see, move along everyone, move along. Too bad it is total tripe...

Andreeson and LoudCloud are a real business now, true. And their revenue model is well designed and might actually work. But the Internet isn't about to turn into a buttondown, suit ruled, geeks don't make the rules anymore thing anytime soon. That is what happens to mature markets and, while the first gold-rush is over, the Internet is far from a mature market. There is still lots of room for someone with ideas to make a difference. What is less likely is that those ideas are worth twenty million in VC money.

I'm afraid the suits are in store for a hard awakening if they think differently.

Jack William Bell

Re:'The Economist' is guilty of wishful thinking (2, Insightful)

nodrip (459776) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140039)


You said it bro.

This line sticks out:

"Even though it started as a consumer-led phenomenon, the Internet's greatest impact has been on business."

The Internet's greatest impact has been on the the voice it gives the public. Business is just using it as a tool, people use it to invoke change in the systems that regulate their lives.

business. ha. this article "missed it.", and so does Andreesen apparently.

Re:'The Economist' is guilty of wishful thinking (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140267)

The Internet's greatest impact has been on the the voice it gives the public. Business is just using it as a tool, people use it to invoke change in the systems that regulate their lives.

That's pretty arguable. I mean, name one major social change that has happened as a result of the Internet. Sure, we're communicating faster, but has it actually provided a clear social change? Not to say it never will, but so far there just hasn't been much.

On the other hand, there has been huge changes in business. Not so much in retail, but in business-to-business data communications. That's where you see the major upheaval, and it's almost invisible to the average person. Setting up a data link between companies used to be a major operation of running leased lines, now it's completely trivial.

Re:'The Economist' is guilty of wishful thinking (2)

dimator (71399) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140179)

There is still lots of room for someone with ideas to make a difference.

What you have to remember is that there are now rich companies with high-priced lawyers playing the game, and you can be damn sure that they'll make it exceedingly difficult for "someone" to succeed unless they get a slice of the pie. And they like big slices.

Re:'The Economist' is guilty of wishful thinking (2)

k8to (9046) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140418)

The Economist is generally a well researched and rather insightful magazine which mostly covers political, financial, and business news on a global scale. Unfortunately, their technology research and reporting leaves something to be desired.

This is the magazine which tried to compare the advent of multimedia with the occurence of the personal computer, claiming it was a similar level of transition, and that it could unseat microsoft and make them irrelevant etc. This was in 1994, when it had already become clear to many that multimedia was overhyped and not going to hold any real importance in overall computing. It's one of the reasons I dropped my subscription, as it seemed so clearly ill-reserached and considered.

All in all, take tech reporting from the big E with a grain of salt.

Competing with microsoft (5, Insightful)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140013)

"Another decision, made early on, was that the new firm should not compete with Microsoft. "

It is really nice of mr Andersen (i know its misspelled) to think that he can choose not to compete with Microsoft, but that is not how things work.

He was not trying to compete with microsoft when he made netscape either.

Ultimately microsoft decides whether you compete with them or not.

So i think he should have said. "another desicision, made early on was to pray that microsoft doesnt come in and destroy our bussiness again".

Re:Competing with microsoft (2, Informative)

Mojo Trolljo (565308) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140047)

Well this time around with Loudcloud he chose to be in a battleground with heavyweights like IBM/Compaq/EDS and numerous others in services and consulting.

Re:Competing with microsoft (2)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140230)

Are they doing the same thing? I am not up to speed but i didnt know IBM did hosting services, i thought they just sold the machines. In any event those companies may be heavyweights but they do not have the monopolies microsoft has.

Re:Competing with microsoft (2, Informative)

Zenki (31868) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140449)

You must have a selective memory, because back when Netscape was hot, a lot of industry analysts were predicting the rise of the web browser and the fall of the operating system.

So in other words, it was perceived that Netscape and Java would soon bring about a new computing platform that would render the operating system obsolete. (IE, all applications would be delivered in Java and over the web, such that it didn't matter which operating system the app would be running on...)

MS developed/bought Internet Explorer to counter this threat.

butt billy's still acting LIEk a child (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140022)


be sure to visit this NYTimes forum [nytimes.com] to witness how father willian's evile deceptive paid2post ?pr? bots MiSlead J. Public, all day, every day, for 5 years now. IT's the least you can do.

triumphalism (4, Insightful)

uke78 (559548) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140037)

Do you detect the condescension toward 'geeks'? It's typical of biz articles to blame the dot com debacle on tech workers. In particular biz journalists like to blame the young founders of these companies, as if their lack of seriousness and business experience caused the dot com crash. Like "yes we 'suits' knew it all along." Tech people built these (crappy) companies but brokerage houses and greedy investors (all of us) pumped up the price bubble. So many people lost so much money not because of naive college CS students. It was because of bad advice and stock hype from wall street institutions. It would be interesting to see how many billions in profits the institutions made off of average investors. They got in right at the beginning of IPOs, rode them up, and sold for 100%, 200%, 700% profit. We held the stocks at those high valuations and watched them fall to earth.

Re:triumphalism (4, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140088)

It's typical of biz articles to blame the dot com debacle on tech workers.

No it's not. They usually blame the management, not the tech workers.

In particular biz journalists like to blame the young founders of these companies, as if their lack of seriousness and business experience caused the dot com crash.

It WAS in a lot of way their fault. It was this sheer arrogance, this slavish devotion to fads and unproven business plans that caused a lot of these companies to tank.

Re:triumphalism (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140168)

It WAS in a lot of way their fault. It was this sheer arrogance, this slavish devotion to fads and unproven business plans that caused a lot of these companies to tank.

While they young execs should bear some of the burden, the bulk should fall on the VCs - who in their right mind funds a mail order kitty litter company?

Re:triumphalism (1)

uke78 (559548) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140320)

I agree that unproven business models, in many cases hatched by inexperienced tech people, caused these companies to fail. But the tech workers are not responsible for the magnitude of the dot com bust. That is the fault of brokerage and VC institutions which promoted these stocks. They knew perfectly well that these companies were not sound. They all said "well we know 9 out of 10 dot coms will fail. But have you seen our latest IPO! GOLDRUSH!" Unfortunately I bought into it.

Re:triumphalism (1)

Paradoxish (545066) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140463)

What makes the "blame" here fall on tech workers is the fact that the tech workers made the economy. Companies were not only staffed by techies, but run by them as well. There were a lot of factors that caused the bubble to burst, but yeah... the founders of the companies involved did play some role in it.

However, I wouldn't be so quick to blame their "geekiness" and "unproved business plans". For a while they were doing good. Things started going bad when everyone else jumped in. The trendy urban folk with their New Beetles and iMacs who jumped all over this new "fad".

Not to sound bitter or anything, but I still think that the two groups that will be responsible for the downfall of the internet are the suits and the people who thought bell-bottoms were making a come-back.

Anybody else find this a bit depressing (4, Insightful)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140043)

"These days he wears a smart suit, rather than a denim shirt and jeans. He is a manager, not a keyboard jockey. He last wrote a line of code, he says, in 1994. The super-fast Mercedes and an impractical military vehicle that previously belonged to Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Hollywood star, are gone; he now drives a low-key sport-utility vehicle instead.
"

Any body else find this passage depressing? Its not that he has grown up as much as he has been assimilated made to conform.

Now he wears the suit and drives the SUV. A low key SUV, mind you (there is so much irony about an SUV being low key).

In a related matter isnt it hilarious that the Economist has to explain that Arnold is a Hollywood star. Not that any reader wouldnt know who arnold is but they would love to pretend they dont.

Re:Anybody else find this a bit depressing (2)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140219)

Any body else find this passage depressing? Its not that he has grown up as much as he has been assimilated made to conform.

Or maybe some of us don't need to hit people over the head with flashy displays to "prove" how non-conforming we are.

Re:Anybody else find this a bit depressing (2)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140443)

There's a difference. If you are dying your hair red and putting eggs in it and spiking it into a mohawk, then you are tyring to non-conform. (or conforming to a subculture that embodies nonconformance)

If you wear a suit you are trying to conform. (or conforming to the "monoculture")

If you wear what you had in your closet anyway, then you are just being yourself. This is argubly the only real nonconformance.

Re:Anybody else find this a bit depressing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140434)

I found it to be rather bleak as well. This is what I saw in my minds eye when I read the article:

"These days Marc sits at a plain metal desk, and spend his days gazing at the shelf across the room. On it are his awards from the netscape days, and his testicles, which float inertly in a jar of formaldehyde."

And the whole tone of the article was condescending. Nasty even. Oh, and here's another snippet:
..military vehicle that previously belonged to Arnold Schwartzeneiger, a hollywood star.

Oh, that Arnold Schwartzeneiger. Glad they cleared that up for us.

No (2)

krogoth (134320) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140447)

I don't find it depressing at all. Why do you ask?

Apology (3, Interesting)

pyrrho (167252) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140046)

What? He's sorry he tried to rip off Mosaic and commercialize a public domain effort and got out foxed by a company much better at doing that?

Ok, apology accepted.

Mosaic was non-free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140402)

Mosaic didn't meet the Free Software definition, let alone any definition of 'public domain'. Get your facts right.

Imposter Boy (5, Interesting)

deanj (519759) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140054)

The article "Imposter Boy", is worth a read. This is the ONLY article I've ever seen from the perspective of the non-Netscape people of how all that Mosaic/Netscape got started. http://www.chrispy.net/marca/gqarticle.html ALL the other articles I've ever seen are from either Netscape's or Andreesen's perspective, perpetuating the myth of what really happened in the beginning. I've seen a lot of people comment on this article before, and I'll tell you most of the comments are "sour grapes, sour grapes". Well, just look at what the article says about people that worked at Netscape.

Re:Imposter Boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140344)

Wow.

All the things I knew from little snippets I've read all over about Marc the con artist written up as a comprehensive article. Cool. Make sure you bookmark it before someone with an agenda marks deanj's comment down to -1.

Who? (2, Funny)

jcsehak (559709) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140063)

impractical military vehicle that previously belonged to Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Hollywood star, are gone;

Schwarz...en...eg... Oh--a hollywood star! Funny, never heard of him...

Netscape failed b/c MS abuses its power (5, Insightful)

dh003i (203189) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140083)

The only reason why Netscape failed is b/c MS abused its monopoly power to crush it. Integrating IE into Windows when competitors can't do that for lack of knowledge about Windows gave MS an unfair advantage in the browser market, because their browsers inherently load faster than other equally-poorly coded browsers (actually, part of IE is ALWAYS loaded in Win9x, as that's what the file browser is).

And contrary to what this idiot in the Economist says, "growing up" for the internet does not mean conforming to the previous business regime and becoming nothing more than TV on speed, nothing more than a huge space for corporatization.

Contrarily, the internet is growing up as it realizes its full potential -- more and more user-interaction: more "grass roots" power. As time progresses, the ratio of non-corporate:corporate web-sites will become larger, as: (1) The number of people in this world is increasing faster than the number of corporations; (2) Many people have interest in creating sites or putting information online (not only via web-sites, but via P2P); (2) The bandwidth and computing power becoming available to consumers is increasing. P2P and file-sharing technologies represent a sign of maturity for the internet.

But really, using the word "maturity" in reference to the internet is nonsense. The internet is flexible, and new uses for it will be found continually. There is no "goal" for what the internet should become. It will simply evolve, step by step, web-site by website, idea by idea.

I feel very sorry for anyone who's mind is so small, who's imagination is so bleak, that (s)he can only think of the internet as ultimately useful as an avenue of corporatization and commercialization.

Re:Netscape failed b/c MS abuses its power (3, Funny)

John Miles (108215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140105)

The only reason why Netscape failed is b/c MS abused its monopoly power to crush it.

That, and the fact that they built a better Web browser.

Re:Netscape failed b/c MS abuses its power (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140157)

Actually, they licensed the spyglass browser and then gave it away for free. Nearly killed the company (Spyglass)

Re:Netscape failed b/c MS abuses its power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140170)

Yeah, I'll bet there's at least 6 or 7 lines of code in IE these days.

Re:Netscape failed b/c MS abuses its power (2)

blakestah (91866) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140401)

Actually, they licensed the spyglass browser and then gave it away for free. Nearly killed the company (Spyglass)

And the CTO from Spyglass - is now the head of Abisource which makes a GPLd word processor compatible with GNOME.

Spyglass was actually just leasing Mosaic code from University of Illinois. Gates cost those academic institutions billions when he gave away IE. Spyglass musta had pretty ridiculous contractual lawyers, or idiots running the business end.

Burrow-owls live in a hole in the ground. Why the hell do you think they call them burrow-owls, anyway ?

Re:Netscape failed b/c MS abuses its power (3, Insightful)

dimator (71399) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140207)

That, and the fact that they built a better Web browser.

Many people don't get this. It doesn't matter if it was better or not. Microsoft effectively took the "better" gauge out of it when they chose which browser their consumers would use. If it truly was better, then the free market and capitalism in general dictate that it would come out on top because the users would make the choice. Microsoft stole the right to choose from the consumer, and that is infinitely worse than killing a company.

(You know, it's been a while since they pulled these tricks, but every time I think about Microsoft's monopolistic, illegal actions, it still makes me furious.)

Re:Netscape failed b/c MS abuses its power (2)

John Miles (108215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140251)

Many people don't get this. It doesn't matter if it was better or not.

We'll never know, will we? They won, after all.

Microsoft effectively took the "better" gauge out of it when they chose which browser their consumers would use

Shyeah. Just like General Motors effectively takes the "better" gauge out of the car-stereo market when they choose what radio their consumers will get free with the car.

By your reasoning, Alpine, Kenwood, and Blaupunkt should be dead at the hand of Delco.

Re:Netscape failed b/c MS abuses its power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140374)

It was better that Netscape by version 4.

Microsoft did not steal the right to choose from anybody. It is a trivial matter to download the Netscape browser and install it on a computer. In the days when the Netscape Browser was competetive with IE, many ISP's distributed it as part of their setup software.

Microsoft didn't kill Netscape. Andreesen decided he wanted to be the new Bill Gates, thumbed his nose at Microsoft, and went down because of it.

Re:Netscape failed b/c MS abuses its power (1)

hitchhikerjim (152744) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140473)

Not really. For a huge amount of time after Microsoft started giving away their browser with Windows, Netscape *still* had up to 70% of the market.

They lost it themselves by making a crappy browser.

No one really gives Microsoft the credit they deserve for their browser work, and how they got there. They had spent years developing a pretty good component-based software model (COM). And when they decided to do a browser, they drew on that talent and decided to make the browser a showpiece of "what you can do if you use COM".

The result? Nothing real special in v1, but after that new featurs and fixes flew out at an extremely rapid pace without much bloat. Score one for component software development practices!

On the other side of the competition, Netscape had a code-base that reputed to be the worst example of speghetti-code ever to exist. Of COURSE they couldn't keep up!

Re:Netscape failed b/c MS abuses its power (1)

diverman (55324) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140226)

But really, using the word "maturity" in reference to the internet is nonsense. The internet is flexible, and new uses for it will be found continually. There is no "goal" for what the internet should become. It will simply evolve, step by step, web-site by website, idea by idea.

I agree with this entirely. I think the article incorrectly stated what they were really talking about. The internet itself is as you say, growing and being flexible, and not necessarily becoming more "mature".

I think the article was referring to the companies on the internet are becoming more mature. That was kind of expected I think. Any gold rush, eventually comes down to those that made out best continuing and becoming more conservative/mature.

Just my $0.02...

-Alex

Re:Netscape failed b/c MS abuses its power (2)

EchoMirage (29419) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140244)

The only reason why Netscape failed is b/c MS abused its monopoly power to crush it.

Netscape lost because MS bundled IE and because Navigator was an abomination to HTML rendering engines. The product has to do what it's supposed to (render web pages) somewhat well before people will use it. Ever tried to get CSS to work in Navigator 4?

(actually, part of IE is ALWAYS loaded in Win9x, as that's what the file browser is)

Nope. The Internet Explorer integration didn't start until Windows 98. Internet Explorer wasn't even [functionally] alive when Windows 95 first came out. And part of IE isn't always loaded; take a look at 98lite [98lite.net] for an example of how IE can be de-integrated from Windows.

Re:Netscape failed b/c MS abuses its power (1)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140369)


Didn't Netscape give away their browser because they want to drive their revenues from server software sales? Netscape's web servers sucked. Did Microsoft kill them too by bundling IIS with Windows 98?

Yes, IIS is "free" with Windows NT, but we all know that, despite what Microsoft claims, NT holds a minority position in the server market. So IIS is not free if you must also purchase NT server licenses.

Asleep (3, Funny)

The Cat (19816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140089)

When did the Internet become "ruled by suits?"

Was there a memo about this?

Evil won (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140090)

Goodbye Neo, hello Mr. Andreesen

Funny quote from the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140132)

Another decision, made early on, was that the new firm should not compete with Microsoft. "Everybody should be in a business once in their lives that competes with Microsoft, just for the experience," says Mr Andreessen.

So funny! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140173)

An industry joke tells of the chief financial officer of a software firm who calls down to the loading bay on the last day of the quarter to ask how many units have shipped. "Too early to say," comes the reply. "It's lunchtime, so we're only halfway through the quarter."

Ha! HA HA HA! HA! Ha ha ha hahahahahaha! That's so funny! If only EVERYONE was that funny.

who the fuck (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140189)

is this andreesen guy

fuck im doing this on some chekoslowakian keyboard and it suxors verrrry hard. Im going to get me some .5 dollar .5 liter beer and quit this useless shit

Silicon Boys (0)

aCapitalist (552761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140213)

The book "Silicon Boys" has a good account of the whole netscape thing. According to the book(I'm not saying it's true), Andreesen started acting like an asshole to the engineers who worked with him on the orginal Mozilla.

Re:Silicon Boys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140387)

It's well documented here [chrispy.net] what Andreesen was really about.

If anybody tried to grab free software like Mosaic in this day and age and close the source like he did, the screaming would be unbearable. How the hell did he end up be so many hacker's hero? Was it the pixie dust wafting off all the Venture Capital dollars??

poster boy not so impressive (5, Informative)

raincrow (61535) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140224)

Having sat across the table from Mr. Andreessen in a couple of meetings, I have to say that the man is less than impressive. He comes off as an empty-headed suit, a trophy for his sales staff to parade in front of clients.

(Background: LoudCloud was attempting to take over my former employer's web operations; not just make a pitch for services, but actively -- and with much hostility on the part of their sales team -- denigrate the infrastructure we had built in our own data center and convince upper management that we were being negligent in our work. We ended up fighting them off by showing that they would have had to lose money on us for several years in order to provide us equivalent services for less cost. They pressed on for months, fueled by our CEO's irrational desire to have Andreessen as a personal friend. The highlight of my career there was the day we canceled our letter of intention with LoudCloud.)

At a meeting in which his local and regional salesmen were in a shouting match with us (my favorite comment from their regional sales director: "You'll never be able to keep up with your little shareware schemes!" -- this was in response to our use of Apache/mod_perl), Mr. Andreessen sat there, first looking at us all as if we were speaking in a language he didn't understand. When talk turned to leasing schedules and other evidence against LoudCloud's value proposition, he became bored and began checking email on his RIM. Eventually he went and made a phone call at the other end of the room, and then sat down away from us so he could fill out his forms for a Federal security clearance (after the meeting I had to show him where our FAX machine was so he could get it in under deadline).

That's how he behaves in meetings with potential clients -- clients that his staff spend insane amounts of money and energy to woo, and bring him in to impress the savages. When we finally ceased talks with LoudCloud, he was very petulant and sent our CEO a near-illiterate email message about how disappointed he was that we had chosen not to contract their services. I understand the CEO still tries to woo him on occasion, despite.

He may very well be the richest (or luckiest) media darling I've ever shaken hands with. I am pretty certain he's also the most shallow.

that doesnt sound good (2)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140264)

I have heard often that he is a mere figurehead, but if what you say is true he is not even good at being that.

Services a better business than software? (2, Informative)

humphreybogus (99409) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140295)

While much is made of the inevitable haggling that takes place at the quarter's end (when customers know they have software companies in a tough spot), this article glosses over the difficulties inherent in running a services business, particularly one like Loudcloud.

A software company has terrific gross margins: as we know, software costs almost nothing to reproduce and distribute once it's developed. Sure, the costs of developing it can be high (in a commerical setting), but each additional product costs virtually nothing to stamp onto a CD (or make available on a server for download). The basic point is that the inherently high margins in software provide a great cushion of potential profit, and one can grow a business to vast proportions with little additional development effort (but with some sales effort). Selling a product to one person or 1x10^6 people takes little additional development effort, in theory.

In a services business, however, each additional customer requires expensive infrastructure and personnel to develop. Whereas software has high fixed costs and low variable costs, services businesses (like IT consulting, lawyers, etc.) tend to have high variable costs (mostly labor) and low fixed costs (rent, etc.). The problem comes when you try to grow these businesses to tremendous scale. It is extraordinarily expensive to hire, train, and retain talented people, especially in IT.

For a place like Accenture (or a tiny 4-person consulting firm), the people are the assets--growing the business means growing the employee base, period. This is a fine model, and tends to have low fixed costs, but the profit margins tend to be lower than in packaged software. That said, people-based services businesses don't depend on expensive equipment with which to perform the service.

In Loudcloud's case, you have the worst of both worlds. On the one hand, you need racks and racks of expensive servers, storage, etc. with which to provide the service. On the other hand, you need extremely expensive people to manage all of these complicated setups. You have the high fixed costs of a product-style business, and the high variable costs of a "bodyshop" type business. In addition, you typically don't have proprietary offerings--one can buy managed hosting from a many companies, large and small. Loudcloud tries to address this in two ways, namely by developing "Opsware" (to lower the number of people required to run the business and to give it a pseudo-proprietary edge) and by (presumably) purchasing new equipment as it adds new customers.

From a profitability perspective, though, Andreesen is wrong--packaged software is, as an industry, one of the highest-margin businesses going (both gross and net), while services (esp computer services) tend to have lower margins and lower profitability.

Besides, there are lots of ways to deal with the "end-of-quarter" haggling. You think Nike and Ford don't haggle on the price of services that are provided to them?

uh-huh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3140306)

"There turned out to be very little money in selling front-end software such as browsers to consumers..."


quick recap: netscape started giving away their browser (face it: if you let people download it and use it for free, and hope they'll pay, you're giving it away), then M$ used their might to drive them out of business by a) giveing away their browser and b) packaging it with (to various extents) their OS. why download browser N when browser M came with the system?


remember, it's difficult to compete with someone who illegally abuses their monopoly power. antitrust laws are what keep mcdonalds from giving away food for 6 months to drive burger king out of business. M$ was found to have violated those laws. it's always difficult to beat someone who's not playing by the rules.

Re:uh-huh... (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140464)

remember, it's difficult to compete with someone who illegally abuses their monopoly power. antitrust laws are what keep mcdonalds from giving away food for 6 months to drive burger king out of business. M$ was found to have violated those laws. it's always difficult to beat someone who's not playing by the rules

I see it posted almost in almost every article related to commerical software on slashdot: "but is it free"? of course this means speech, but more often than not it means beer.

Either way, OpenSource as a whole does the exact same thing that micsrosoft does to drive out its competitors:

Embrace and extend.

open source projects many times take a proprietary product or protocol (embrace): think blizzard server, and make it "free" (extend).

Should it be any more alright for it to be done by an OSS project than a commerical entity? I say no. (they should play by the same RULES)

AMISH VIRUS!!! (-1)

Alan_Thicke (553655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140413)

You have just received the Amish Virus!
Since we do not have electricity or computers,
you are on the HONOR SYSTEM!
Please delete ALL of your files....




Thank Thee.

they're all sheep (5, Insightful)

xeno (2667) | more than 12 years ago | (#3140441)

This article in the Economist is a heap of paternalistic claptrap. I usually respect most of the thinking that comes out of the Economist even if I don't agree with it, enough that I'm a paid subscriber. But the implication of this article is that the dotcom era was a childish tangent and that the technology industry has now grown up and realized how the real world works is a gross oversimplication at best, and more likely just hogwash. The technology industry has not reverted to the domain of the "suits" as the article implies. True, many of the internet revolutionaries have donned ties and pantsuits and risen through the ranks into executive management. Even Phil Zimmerman sold his soul to NAI. But there has been a fundamantal change in how the technology business world works.

To wit: You don't judge the severity of a climate change by seeing how well the oldest and fattest animals are. Many of the dead dotcoms were old-school organizations that took on new names and attempted to shovel their wares onto the internet, only to fail miserably. Although Microsoft gained a lot from the dotcom era, it's worth noting that Microsoft was the domain of "suits" from shortly after its inception. Gates himself railed against open code as far back as anyone can remember, insisted that the Internet was irrelevant to the software market, and has only recently noted that security in network-connected applications is of some importance. Microsoft stock has essentially plateaued -- it's been bouncing around $50-70 for about two years, and dividends are not paid to shareholders. The days of MSFT stock splits leading to the purchase of a new house are over. Microsoft may be a reliable internal moneymaker for some time to come, but it's no longer a realistic investment growth vehicle. Likewise the traditional model technology product business have suffered -- the computer hardware industry has become a lean area, squeezing the life out of traditional middle markets (and driving it online). Traditional old-school service organizations (KPMG and the like) have laid off tens of thousands.

On the other hand, new types of businesses are having an interesting go, and there's been a *lot* of irreversable change. Who'da thunk that Redhat could actually reach profitability? Proprietary networking protocols are dead. Sendmail has been commercialized. Apple has adopted an open-source core, and is now the world's most prolific UNIX software company. Major movies are being rendered with open-source code on clustered commodity computers. More women than ever are finding paths to executive status and power through the technology sector. The center of innovation in browser code is coming from Mozilla, with code more stable than either IE or Netscape on Windows. Java/J2EE has finished .NET's lunch, cleared the table, and taken a nap, and Microsoft doesn't even know it yet. Napster and its progeny have likewise insured the irrelevance of the existing recording industry giants (and the death of their ethically clouded business model). A little upstart company (Verisign) that issues virtual identity credentials bought a company that issues virtual addresses (Network Solutions), and has become the megalith that we should all be terrified by. And IBM, recognizing that there's good money to be made in services rather than only ownership of intellectual property, has hybridized itself through such things as Linux, and become much stronger for it.

The dotcom world has grown up and joined the old world? I don't think so. Surely anyone who thinks about it for more than a minute can see the clear differentiation between dotcom-era companies that had good ideas such as Palm, and the multitudes of con artists whose shell corporation names are enumerated on the likes of fuckedcompany.com. What's happened is that the dotcom survivors (the ones who actually had ideas and value) have learned to adapt in ways that position them for survival (accepting small but dependable margins), and surprising dominance in others. Some are successfully selling things that are openly available. Others are successfully selling services where the old-school said there was no need or opportunity. The curious thing is that the old-school property sellers (software, music) are being slowly killed by the new-school service/access sellers, and the old-school service sellers are being slowly killed by the new-school open-source/property sellers who find smaller margins attractive. Only in the White House and the oil industry have we returned to the glory days of the 80's and early 90's (and after people look at the balance sheets, the next election will take care of that).

Jon
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?