[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


by Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Ray Ozzie replies.

Another nail in the frequently-nailed coffin of Napster.  Here's something I don't understand. Ignore the Napster legal history for a moment. Let's talk about software development. About two years ago, Napster and Bertlesmann announced that they would deliver a version of Napster that would charge money and only provide music legally. Now, it seems like they ran out of money before they could even deliver that. What I don't understand, exactly, is why they couldn't build this thing that sells Bertlesmann music with two whole years of work and a whole team of developers? When Fanning had built the original thing in three months? (Then again, the story here sounds incredibly familiar. One guy builds version 1 in a few months and then a team of 15 can't build version 2 for years and years. Tell me you haven't seen that movie before.)

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