December 23rd, 2007

Failure story, success story

Nat Torkington on tracking trends with success stories and failure stories:

Such a failure might be "we build this in Erlang but couldn't keep a team together to run it, so had it rewritten in C++". In this mindset, Yahoo! Stores is a failure for Lisp and not a success (sorry, Paul!).

According to Paul, this was an intentional and good thing:

[Clueless bosses will] easily believe that it will be a trivial matter to port your code to some more boss-friendly language, and that the language your software is written in is thus no serious barrier to acquisition.

I don't think I intentionally misled Yahoo (too much) on this point, but if I did it was for their own good. Many of the aspects of Y Store they've been able to change (the pricing, the test drive), they've messed up. But because they didn't dare touch the Editor itself, they haven't been able to spoil it.