"A Cultural Event for Silicon Valley and Wall Street!"
© 2005 Jamie Zawinski <jwz@jwz.org>


A few months back, I got mail from some guy from Fortune writing yet another article about Netscape, this one "pegged to the upcoming 10th anniversary of the IPO." So I said,

See, if you had said just about any other anniversary, I might have been interested, but by picking that one, I think you've just told me that your article is about "gosh, look at the rich people" instead of being about what we accomplished.

To which he said,

Think what you will, but you're dead wrong about my focus. The IPO was a cultural event for Silicon Valley and Wall Street, and as such its a milestone and marker for all that followed. By re-visiting the Netscape story 10 years after it exploded onto the consciousness of the general public, I'm very much focused on all Netscape accomplished, as well as what other people accomplished because of Netscape.

I read that as: another article glorifying the fiscal feeding frenzy of people who have never actually created something in their lives. More nostalgia for "the bubble". Awesome.

I guess when you're writing a paean to greed, you probably don't realize you're doing it, because you're so entrenched in that culture that you can't tell that you're a part of the problem.

I don't usually blow people off when they ask for interviews and stuff, because somehow I keep thinking that maybe this time my input will make their output be less nonsensical. Or maybe just because I like hearing myself talk. Whichever, this one really rubbed me the wrong way.

So I blew him off. Well, the article was published, and I saw that my instinct was exactly correct: it's not accomplishments or culture or technology, it's just about price tags.

And to this day, every time I read Mike Homer's name my stomach clenches up.


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