The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, February 04, 2000

The status quo must surely hate this

Normally, I just tollerate Dave Wiener and what he says and his Scripting News site comes across as one extended advertising for his software, but maybe what he has to say is worth listening to at times.

Then I realized that such an externally defined vision had already been forced on the technology industry. The standards of the Internet, HTTP, HTML and URLs; and perhaps XML, which is a simple formalization of HTML. To go to the next step the leaders of technology merely have to agree to stop struggling against these standards, and to share the knowledge they have developed around them. The web is ready-made for a shared vision.

. . .

First, you should know that there are organizations whose sole purpose is to define and patent new business processes that build on the Internet. Jay Walker, the founder of Priceline.Com, has 60 full-time people working in teams to do nothing more than generate patents. No engineering, no scaling issues, no customer satisfaction requirements (although Walker's company appears to be good at this too), they just a file a claim at various patent offices, and wait for the engineering of the Internet to catch up. A land-grab business.

. . .

If you define success in terms of continuing to do the same old thing, you will lose. This is the message that causes so much dissonance at Davos and at Seybold. The people who had a good thing going before the Internet are angry. If they draw a line in the sand, as Sumner Redstone of Viacom did so insistently, sorry it's off to glue factory. But if you're willing to risk it all on your intelligence, experience *and* your enthusiasm for the Internet, you will win. But you have to be willing to change.

. . .

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Obligatory Miscellaneous

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