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The New Beginning, Part 2

To those who feel cheated that they missed out on the wave of web profiteering due to factors personal, professional, or simply geographic, I will tell you that so did most of the people you read about in the business journals. The stories of pink-slip parties, sending stock options and certificates into the great beyond with the gift of Prometheus, and the crushing blow of the Alternative Minimum Tax on ephemeral "profits" are all true. Good deals on foosball tables at office furniture stores have probably already passed. I personally wound up in Seattle for a little over a year riding on that rail to financial independence. For a number of reasons, I was never in a position to ruin my family's entire future. Just barely.

So, just as my company has been immortalized in the ranks of the deceased on F***edCompany.com, and every former employee has a plan for resurrecting the idea and the technology (myself included), most of us have real jobs now. The hours are better, the pay is better (no salary concession in exchange for options), and I find I am much more productive when every other thought is not of impending doom.

So, yes, there is management now. Yes, I have an identification card to enter my building. The furnishings are Spartan, and headphones have replaced speakers, but things are better. Many pure Internet companies have survived. Look at InformIT. Sure, it has well-designed layout and navigation, but the true strength is its depth and breadth of content. By applying discipline, scale, and good sense in place of euphoria, the second coming of the Net is well underway.

In truth, development has graduated almost entirely from series of loosely coupled web pages to full-fledged applications again. As roles gain definition, people are beginning to leverage strengths again. Corporate culture is unlikely to ever revert to coat-and-tie with rigid hierarchical management styles. A great change has taken place, and the tools for building on that change are just being released.

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