Re: Objective Heresy

David Long (
Wed, 04 Feb 1998 17:46:07 -0500

>Hence the need for evangelists - *more* evangelists. I consider myself a
>purveyor of the *right* tools and ideas, and hope that customers will
>come. I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll never be a millionaire
>simply because I can't bring myself to give people what they want - I
>*need* to give them what they need. Anything less is selling out.

The perils of evangelizing "the-right-thing" over "worse-is-better" are shown
in "Lisp: Good News, Bad News, How to Win Big"

|It is important to remember that the initial virus has to be basically good.
|If so, the viral spread is assured as long as it is portable. Once the virus
|has spread, there will be pressure to improve it, possibly by increasing its
|functionality closer to 90%, but users have already been conditioned to accept
|worse than the right thing. Therefore, the worse-is-better software first will
|gain acceptance, second will condition its users to expect less, and third
|will be improved to a point that is almost the right thing.

Historical note: this was from 1993 or earlier. I believe Lucid tried to
execute on this plan (they acquired one of my former employers, Peritus,
which would have given them the right skill set), but it was already too late.


Nathan Bedford Forrest should've been in software...