I’ve been digging into the invention of what’s sometimes called “Netscape Time,” the rapid acceleration of software development once it moved to the web thanks to digital access to that software. But Netscape Time also was often chaotic and without purpose. When Jamie Zawinski (one of the original programmers on the Netscape team) left the newly spun out Mozilla in 1999, he had this to say:
And there’s another factor involved, which is that you can divide our industry into two kinds of people: those who want to go work for a company to make it successful, and those who want to go work for a successful company. Netscape’s early success and rapid growth caused us to stop getting the former and start getting the latter.
Which is to say, the failure of a lot of companies that have come since.