Re: [unrev-II] Species survival & open source funding etc. (was Re: Intel's new XML network devices)

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Wed May 10 2000 - 13:55:37 PDT

  • Next message: Eric Armstrong: "Re: [unrev-II] Species survival & open source funding etc. (was Re: Intel's new XML network devices)"

    Thanks for all that the thought that went into that.
    I followed my vision once before, when I quit my job
    and started an Outliner company. Paid my own salary
    for two years. Cashed in everything I had of value,
    borrowed from every agency or friend who would loan
    me anything, and wound up $19,000 in debt -- much of
    it to the IRS, who came and emptied my bank account
    for me.

    I wound up with a really thorough, though extremely
    expensive education in how *not* to sustain an
    activity. Things I learned:
      * Don't quit your day job
      * Don't jump into development without a business model

    The technology we wrote 15 years ago may not have been
    as advanced as Augment, but it is just as dead. Other
    than what I learned in the process, there is nothing to
    show for the time spent on the project.

    That experience led to a long period of personal inspection,
    growth, and recovery. There was no one to blame for what
    happened. The failure was my own. I had to come to grips
    with exactly why I failed, and how. I had underestimated
    my weaknesses, and hadn't utilized my strengths. I thought
    I would be able to manage people and run a business, when
    the fact of the matter is that I am a designer and communicator,
    not a manager. I thought that if we had a great technology,
    people would want it -- not realizing that what people want
    is *solutions*, not technologies. And I learned that if you
    can't condense the message into a tight like package that
    makes people *want* it, you can't pry money out of customers,
    and you can't pull it out of investors, either.

    It's taken quite a bit of time before I was ready to
    consider trying again. This time around, I plan to avoid
    the majority of those mistakes. (I plan to make a whole
    bunch of new ones...) With any luck, this time around the
    mistakes won't be fatal...

    Bids starting at $7 for thousands of products -

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