Ferguson's High Stakes, No Prisoners.

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From: Rohit Khare (rohit@uci.edu)
Date: Mon Mar 13 2000 - 02:08:07 PST

The story of Vermeer and its one year ride to a $130M MS buyout in
Feb 96. Recommended. Highly Recommended. Amazing how honest a rich
man can be. Consider it real-world tenure :-)

Among other quotes:

[Netscape's] key strategic and technical choices were controlled by a
children's crusade, led by Andreessen and his college friends from
the NCSA...

The most serious element of this mistake was making Marc Andreessen
Chief Technology Officer of Netscape and giving him unchecked power
in choosing Netscape's product directions and technologies.
Andresseen is brilliant and precocious, but he was only twenty-three
and, except for a few months at EIT, he had never even had a job.
Andreessen was completely inexperienced in commercial software, and
his previous work had given him no understanding of architectural or
strategic questions. It astounded me that Netscape's management not
only gave him such power, but allowed him to make public statements
such as his no-infamous assertion that Windows would be reduced to a
set of poorly debugged device drivers.


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