Lessons from Lotus?

I’ve heard dramatic titles are the key to getting pageviews. Joel on Software has a historical analysis of sorts that I found interesting. I thought the funniest parts were about Y Combinator. I want to discuss it, but I don’t want to give you a summary, because I want you to read it. Oh well, I hope I don’t spoil it for you.

The question at hand is whether google will maintain its dominance in all things. It’s hard for me to imagine them losing search. They pay for the best, and know to keep them happy. If you’re a great search person, why wouldn’t you want to go work at google?

Joel on Software addresses gmail, however. He identifies a route to downfall. I find the scenario possible, but would refuse to bet for or against it. Google has a lot of smart people, and they can see the trends happening. (More or fewer smart people than those working on Lotus, I don’t know) From the outside, I could imagine them rewriting gmail or being the ones that produced the SDK. I don’t think their success is guaranteed, though, there have been lots of powerful tech companies in the past (IBM, Microsoft, Yahoo, Altavista) that are past their peak. Somewhere between the fanboys and the detractors has got to be the truth right? Ah, the beauty of markets.

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