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The Netscape saga

July 17, 2007 @ 6:48am

I saw a post this weekend called "4 Years Ago Today - Netscape Corporation Killed, Mozilla Foundation Born" over on Read/Write Web, which is a great source for web technology news.

It recapped one of Netscape's many deaths at AOL's hands and pointed out that the true success story is the Mozilla Foundation and the Firefox browser's climbing market share. It's sad because whether the "Digg clone" plan was sound or not, we put together a fantastic development team at AOL and they continue to iterate and innovate in spite of the climate and the uncertainty as the Netscape leader-du-jour either left AOL or moved on within AOL.

I hate to admit it, but one day there will have been as many Chief Architects of Netscape as there were James Bonds -- if there haven't been already -- and my old title won't be as meaningful as it should have been. Hopefully that doesn't sound selfish because I care deeply about the dev team we assembled and I was thrilled to hear that AOL gave them a vote of confidence allowing them to continue building their platform. I just think that anyone who ever worked with Netscape even for a couple of days has to shake their heads when considering the trajectory of Netscape the browser, Netscape the legendary IPO, Netscape the $4.2 billion AOL acquisition in 1999, Netscape the ad-infested portal and Netscape the social news site.

I'm sure that one day Autoblog will be a Twitter knockoff and Engadget will be a user-generated ringtone auction marketplace.

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