[A picture of private offices at Fog Creek Software] Alert! This ancient trifle retrieved from the Joel on Software archive is well-past its expiration date. Proceed with care.

Joel on Software

:CueCat is back!

by Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Google: “2D barcodes are an especially exciting part of this because they allow readers to "click" on interesting print ads with their cellphones and seamlessly connect to relevant online content.”

Years ago, I went out on a limb and dismissed a similar scheme thus: “The number of dumb things going on here exceeds my limited ability to grok all at once. I'm a bit overwhelmed with what a feeble business idea this is.”

OK, more than seven years have passed. Things have changed. People have camera phones with web browsers now. Some things are still the same: typing URLs is not hard, this is a monumental chicken and egg problem, and this doesn't provide any value to the consumers who are expected to install new software on their phones to go along with this ridonculous scheme.

Sometimes when the elders say to the youngsters, "don't do that, we tried that, it failed," it's just because they're failing to notice that the world has changed. But sometimes the elders are right, and the youngsters really are too young to know the history of the idea they think that they've just invented.

I guess we'll get to watch to see whether the oldsters or the youngsters will win this one.

Still, it doesn't say much for the quality of those 150 people Google hires every week that they're now chasing some of the worst of the bad ideas of the fin de siecle. What's next, GooglePetFood.com?


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

Want to know more?

You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.



About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, insanely simple project management, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracker designed to help great teams develop brilliant software, and Kiln, which simplifies source control. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

© 2000-2014 Joel Spolsky