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Just A Spoonful of Dilbert

July 11, 2006 @ 8:32am

I've taken over all of the technical Netscape work. My team built a social news site in three months and rolled it out in one. The decision that Netscape needed to change wasn't mine. The idea for what it should change into wasn't mine either. I might expand on that later.

My involvement is in getting it built, making sure it doesn't suck and making sure our database-intensive site doesn't collapse under the weight of traffic from Netscape's enormous audience.

I've mentioned that I don't have anything to do with the browser...yet.

Well, the web site wouldn't exist without the browser and that's on us to manage. Jason has some plans for it -- everything except dealing with bug fixes -- so there won't be much browser news here. I've got someone in mind to handle that with him. I just hope that he doesn't read my blog.

We had one great browser developer all interviewed and primed to join our team, but we lost him to a month of corporate fumbling. It might have been the worst "corporate" experience I've had since I joined AOL. The story plays like a classic Monty Python office sketch or a chapter in a Dilbert compilation, but recounting the details is just reliving them, so...

The good news is that in my overall experience at AOL there haven't been very many defeats and there has never been one large enough to make me question why I'm here. AOL has left us independent to see what we can accomplish if we only have to deal with red tape every week or so instead of daily and we're producing results.

So we're lucky. They could have acquired us, squeezed the startup culture and energy out of us and ruined it all.

But they didn't...yet.

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