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Netscape Documentary

Tape 117

Mark Andreesen Interview 6117198

So you could argue that there is an archetype of the of the American scienfists Its know
you

Alexander Graham Bell or Thomas hasnt been


Edison but there an archetype yet for dont

know what the team or the network other words always been
is it that In its
develops

very solo individualisfic experience in the and now thats not the case But
past increasingly

Right Well its.. its


interesting We seemed to have reached the point few years ago where

no individual technologist. the on your desk or my desk today


computer sitting theres no

the worid dont there


may be one two but theres
in
many who
technologist think or not
very

can understand different of and how


actually every component all its software it frmnctions And

uh can think of couple people who but not other than that The technical
might very many

systens that were building today in the computer industry are so complicated there
that are no

individuals who can understand all of them and scale uh cant even be
many large projects

understood by themselves by one so you have


individually person this phenomenon of team

based development now becoming network based development broad


happening within very

groups of
people who may not ever meet face to face who not ever know one
may really

another or interact on any level other than all almost


ending up working together in
very

organic process building something collecUvely that none of them could have built
by

themselves Thats probably fairiy new thing

NI Right Well the kind of who


person is most attracted to programming seems to be someone

who is
very interested in
being engaged on something of great complexity
intellectually and

progratiming is one of the software


only disciplines programming is one of the only

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Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

in which you can grapple with very large complex technical systems and problems on
very

an individualized basis without to make investment raw materials mean for


having huge in

example you know the process of building modem dam or bridge would be of equal

but would unless scale construcUon


complexity involve youre large company you cant

possibly do it..
programmers uh have mindset typically where they like to they really

enjoy the intellectual process of uh and then with and


understanding interacting advancing

and solving very large scale problems and very large scale systems that are expressed

entirely of software So thats why you just see huge numbers of people now becoming

programmers because iEs an amazing ouUet for that combination of technical skill and

competence which people seek out for its own for its own value and also for the kind of

creativity that the software medium implicifly encourages Software is so much more malleable

than most other kinds of technical systems because theres nothing physical to it at all It can

be manipulated at will Uh and so it becomes sort of unique playing field for someone who

has the kind of mind to want to in there and do that with scale
go large system If
they could

do that in the real world with and with bridges and with and with dams and
buildings with you

know solar
power stations amongst other
things they probably would but that requires level

of investment and money you know your


that
typical individual
programmer doesnt have and

would not be interested in


hying to figure out how to deal with

Sure much around


Its very complexity Its
very much around being able to hold that

your head which


in
complexity all at once is
why you see programmers working in the middle

of the night like 20 or 30 hours time


working you said for at Its because what happens with

programmer the reason work such


programmers for long periods of time and at such

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Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

unusual hours its because need reach work session


they to state going into
they need to

reach the state which takes few hours of the


typically getting in
zone if
you will Its almost

uh you know sort of like


you talk about athletes getting in the zone for performance

standpoint in athletics Uh theres level of awareness and comprehension of the entire

system uh on mental basis that takes certain amount of time to get into And once you

have that in head thats when


your you can then operate on it and get things done And so you

want to maintain that for as long as you possibly can in addition to which many of the problems

you are then trying to solve are very complicated and take lot of time to work out themselves

Sure Yeah programmers who are very at what they do tend the
good to separate rest of the

wodd into those who are as good as they are at that and then
doing exactiy thing everyone

else And uhni when when you


people.. you take
if
top tier
programmer get to be as good

as that there number


person is are only finite of people in the wotid who are that good at that

task And what those have


particular all
people in common is that theyre
very engaged in this

particular kind of
activity uhm and it becomes so much part of their lives that this is what they

value more than anything else And so the people that want with and
they to interact are able to

have uh are able to.. are able deal with


to on an ongoing basis
really in
way that is

enjoyable for them are people who can do that also And it can certainly be frustrating uh then

to have to deal with who you view


people as not being able to do that Of course theres

nothing about that about


programming is unique this think you see this minoring itself

whole
throughout series of fields and disciplines Uh but uh programming probably exhibits

it more than some other areas only because its somewhat of


probably more solitary activity

The best
programming always happens by one or very small number of
person people as in

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Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

two or three but more often just one concentrating on thing So there is
very solitary aspect

of the activity

Oh sure Yeah And there are large numbers of people who write code who are not the kinds

of
programmers that you and are talking about There are large numbers of people who you

know come into work and will work for certain of bme and will write certain number
period

of lines of code and then home and do other To them much more
go things it is it
may be

very enjoyable job but it is much more of job Its much more of its one of the things that

they do in their lives To the kind of people who obsessed over these
get completely things

and who typically do the real breakthrough work on an individual basis which think is

probably at the heart of what were talking about uh they are going to be much more this is

going to be much more the central aspect of their lives and everything else is to take
going

role over time and some


say though
will that this
subsidiary is
changing of these barriers

are breaking down Its certainly far different now than it was think ten twenty or thirty years

ago Arid ten years from now it will


probably be quite bit different shIl

think the notice in software


thing youll company Netscape is
perfect example is
you

have you have across all of these different kinds of backgrounds you
have spectrum of

almost obsession or focus on the one hand and


complete then you have spectrum of
people

who
you know
will
go from there to the point where some of them do simply view
are going to

more as do day and what they do


it
job its job that are going to for hours
they eight its for

lMng and its


important to them and but
its
enjoyable their life is more defined by their
family or

their life is more defined by outside acdvities Theres the What software
certainly spectrum

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Tape 117

companies find is that they need balance of those because ub the other thing that has turned

out to be the case and can master


this certainly by highly frustrating at times the sort of

programmers who are capable of doing brilliant individualistic work uh are capable of.. well

theyre capable of doing that but theyre not necessarily alone to be able to then do all the
going

other things that are required to make something commercially successfi.jl Arid so iVs one of

the interesUng phenomenon think that you see at place like Netscape is
you see this

blending of people with different. not only different but also of


backgrounds different levels

interest and uh and uh not passion but minded focus and commitment and
engagement single

that its the blending of those different levels that allows be born out of as
company to this

opposed to just the efforts of individual


single

Well probably when we uh when we first when we first released Mosaic on the net in

early 93 and we saw this initial


phenomenon.. we released it to 12 people to start with to test it

and to see what they thought and then went from there 100 of fiends
it to their and then it went

to 1000 people and then went 100000 and then


it to 1000000 people in
very short period

of time matter of
of couple months That was the first indication we had that there was

something very very big going on that was going to be enormous It was the first sort of

realization that there was going to be an entirely new world


being created on the internet that

people had not even ima9ined yet was


at any point that ever going to happen And it was

going to
completely change how we thought about the net and therefor how we think about

computers and also how we about how we


think ourselves think about communication how

we think about how we interact as society and in business And so uh that was probably

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Tape 117

the single biggest breakthrough didnt at instant but over


It
happen any particular it
happened

sort of two or three month period thinking ok if this think is in size over week and
doubling

half how big is it


going to get And in fact its its been continuing know been
just you its just

growing and growing and growing and growing ever since Its so fascinating to be in the

middle of it now because it


just keeps growing and growing and as it
grows it gets more and

more useful and valuable who involved and up with


to everybody is in it
people keep coming

new uses for it and new ways to take advantage of it and thats just its
extremely exciting

Historically its been the case very


much that there needed to be commercial imperative to

be widely used because system commerce or the


to think about the
get technology if
you it

capftalist system is
nothing more than social system for
organizing deployment of resources

So the only way to of resources uh you know


historically get significant level think

dozens or hundreds of people or the kinds of marketing or promotional activities you need to

gain awareness historically the only reason to get that


organized was through the mechanism

of
essentially doing something commercial Of funding it having investors who are willing to

risk capital allow


to you to marshal the resources to allow you to then get some sort of ultimate

payoff And even if


you dont care about the financial aspects of that the tinancial of
aspects

that are what made for be more than


it
possible ft to just one person
in lab
working on

something that no one would ever see One of the things thats about the net
very interesting at

this evolution
point of its
though and this ties back to the free source idea the source idea
open

is uh the source world the source about


open way you think
of.. the the
open if it
way that

open source efforts work on the net what they are is


they are separate parallel uh.. something

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Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

wrong with tape and cani hear speaker organizing large numbers of people to accomplish

common goal and whats interesng is


they work despde the fact that they have no grounding in

sort of commercial there are no.. none of the standard economic incenlives
reality are there It

may well be the first


example of none based uh marshal
capitalism basically way to

sehes of resources against some common goal given that socialism capitalism essendally

failed This isn that also What because


this certainly isnt
capitalism it is is its of the new

kind of communicabon that the net seems to be for who share


opens up it
way people

common interests to be able to self organize among themselves in that was


globally way

never reasonable before because for that to ever happen before would have all
reasonably it

had to have been in small geographic area Now it can happen on global basis and thats

what you see happening with these source efforts Arid these
open efforts are happening you

know totally outside of the normal financial or economic system They require no venture

capital They require no financial backing They require none of these sort of common things

that uh that people who are used to flow of capital and getting returns are used to And thaEs

why in the long run us going to be very see where goes because
to source
interesting open it

mayturnouttobethecasethat. itmayturnouttobetliecasethatinthelongnjn itwillbe

impossible to with the


compete open source efforts in sense that commercial companies are

commercial software companies are used to How do you compete with


something that

doesnt have to meet payroll How do you complete with something that doesnt need any

revenue How do you compete with that has no expectation of


something ever getting return

on an investment not dear of how far can


Its it

go but its also not clear that if it


keeps going

its not dear how companies normal commercial organizations are be


actually going to able to

with that So
you know
compete ifs very interesting world because its .. we in the late 20th

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Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

century now in the United States we live under the assumpfion that capitalism has won

completely for everything and is the universal But this this small but its..
system is is still

its outside it And its not operating according to the usual rules so its going to be fascinating to

watch

Right Well theres deep because the whole idea around


irony to it
right Apple originally was

that was company built much more on idealism and much more on uh was
you know
it
it

much more an idea about empowering individuals against capitalistic system if


you will at

the very beginning Arid it was only business sort of as side effect of that ThaVs sort of the

cultural
history of Apple Apple has evolved over the years such that it now has very very

effective uh organizational system and set of mechanisms in place for protecting its

commercial interests which is what we ran into So what we ran into was we ran
essentially

into the legacy of commercial enterprise that was determined to


extremely historically protect

its intellectual
property from
anyone who might seek to take advantage of it And so what we

were talking about here was small of code from outdated


very piece very piece of

no longer had any commercial relevance


that
technology to everyone but it so happened that it

fell under copyright had established and


basically that Apple felt
compelled to uh maintain

And so it was interesting working with the Apple folks and the and the
Apple lawyers Apple

folks were good about this and interested


very very in
meeting our needs because they saw

the dear benefit of what we were doing for Apple among other things But uh you know they

basically had to say ok were not going to have its just single minded view on our

commercial interests in this case this case makes more sense trade
In it for us to that off of

you know of questionable value but of somewhat of value given this piece of intellectual

Page
Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

property in order to allow this other to happen which is outside of sort of normal
thing any

commercial relationship And so it was uh it was interesng to see that because it sort of

resonated with uh this as you say this collision of perspectives that you see between raw

ideals on the one hand raw commercialism on the other hand and what happens is they really

collide

But at the same bme you know this is whars interesting to me about my job is that the

commercial wodd is the wofld in which sufficient resources can be marshaled to do big things

which is the same process Apple went through Apple started out as idealisc and then
very

realized that to the kinds of and visions that


really accomplish goals big goals they had they

had to become an ongoing commercial enterpæse and had to become which


quite good at ft

they did for at least certain peæod of me Uh and Ive you know Ive been pushing

Netscape from the


very beginning to become as big and as successfijl company as possible

because that will allow us to accomplish that have to do with the financial
bigger things nothing

results but have everything to do with the impact we can have on the wod So they are both

in conflict to certain extent But over the long term and


they are very intertwined you really

cant get one done without the other Because the other this kind of
doing thing is in
industry or

in these kind of markets you cant operate on the basis of raw


company like this
just

commercial interests There are also. market


in that changes as fast as this one does there

have to be ideas that are going to have on the wofld


big big impact Regardless of whether

or not it looks like they are going to be commercially successftil now you have to be
dght

bets ahead of the market and do you have


willing to place well to that to have real idea of

Page
Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

companies find is that they need balance of those because uh the other thing that has turned

out to be the case and this can at times the sort of master
certainly by highly frustrating

programmers who are capable of doing bhlliant individualistic work uh are capable of.. well

theyre capable of doing that but theyre not necessahly alone going to be able to then do all the

other things that are required to make something commercially successful And so irs one of

the phenomenon you see you see


interesting think that at like this
place Netscape is

blending of with different. not only different but also of


people backgrounds different levels

interest and engagement uh and uh not passion but single minded focus and commitment and

that the blending of those


its different levels that allows company to be born out of this as

opposed to just the efforts of single individual

Well probably when we uh when we first when we first released Mosaic__S on the net in

eady 93 and we saw this initial


phenomenon.. we released it to 12 people to start with to test it

and to see what they thought and then went from there 100 friends and then
it to of their it went

to 1000 and then went 100000 and then


people it to 1000000 people in
very short period

of time mailer of of months That was


couple the first indication we had that there was

something very very big going on that was going to be enormous It was the first sort of

realization that there was going to be an entirely new world being created on the internet that

had not even imagined yet was And


people at any point that ever going to happen it was

going to completely change how we thought about the net and therefor how we think about

computers and also how we think about ourselves how we think about communication how

we think about how we interact as society and in business And so uh that was probably

Page
Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

the biggest breakthrough didnt happen at instant but over


single It
any particular it
happened

sort of two or three month period thinking ok if this think is


doubling in size over week and

halt how big is it


going to get And in fact its
just its been continuing you know its
just been

growing and growing and growing and growing ever since Its so fascinating to be in the

middle of it now because it just keeps growing and growing and as it


grows gets more and

more useful and valuable who involved and up with


to everybody is in it
people keep coming

new uses for it and new ways to take advantage of it and thats just its
extremely exciting

Historically its been the case much that there needed to be commercial imperative to
very

be widely used because system commerce or the


to think about
get technology if
you it the

capitalist system is
nothing more than social system for organizing of resources
deployment

So the only way of uh you know


to get level think
historically significant resources

dozens or hundreds of people or the kinds or promotional


you need
of activities to
marketing

gain awareness historically the reason to that was the mechanism


only get organized through

of
essentially doing something commercial Of funding it having investors who are willing to

risk allow
capital to you to marshal the resources to allow to then get some sort of ultimate
you

payoff And even if


you dont care about the financial aspects of that the financial of
aspects

that are what made it


possible for it to be more than just one in lab working on
person

something that no one would ever see One of the things thats very interesling about the net at

this of its evolution and this ties back the free idea the
point though to source open source idea

is uh the open source wod the open source way of.. if


you think about it the
way that the

open source efforts work on the net what they are is are separate uh..
they parallel something

Page
Netscape Documentary
Tape 117 14

with tape and cant hear speaker organizing large numbers of people to accomplish
wrong

common goal and whats interesting is


they work despite the fact that they have no grounding in

sort of commercial there are no.. none of the standard economic incentives are there
reality It

may well be the first


example of none based uh marshal
capitalism basically way to

sehes of resources against some common that socialism


goal given capitalism essenbally

failed This isnt that this certainly also isnt capitalism What it
is is its because of the new

kind of communication that the net seems be who share


opens up it to way for people

common interests to be able to sefi organize among themselves globally in


way that was

never reasonable before because for that to ever happen before would have all
reasonably it

had to have been in small geographic area Now it can happen on global basis and thats

what you see happening with these source efforts And these efforts
open are happening you

know totally outside of the normal financial or economic system They require no venture

capital They require no financial


backing They require none of these sort of common things

that uh that people who are used to flow of capital and getting returns are used to And thats

why in the long run us going to be very to see where because


interesting open source goes it

turn out be the case be the case


may to that.. it
may turn out to that in the long run it will be

impossible to compete with source efforts the sense that commercial companies
open in
are

commercial software companies are used to How do you compete with


something that

doesnt have to meet payroll How do you complete with something that doesnt need any

revenue How do you compete with that has no expectation of ever


something getting return

on an investment not dear how can


Its of far it
go but is also not dear that if ft
keeps going

its not dear how companies normal commercial organizations are actually going to be able to

compete with that So because you know we


ifs world its
very interesting .. in the late 20th

Page
Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

century now in the United States we live under the assumption that capitalism has won

completely for everything and is the universal But this is this small but its..
system is still

ifs outside it And its not operating accortling to the usual rules so ifs going to be fascinating to

watch

Right Well theres deep irony to it because the whole idea around Apple was
right originally

that it was company built much more on idealism and much more on uh you know it was

much more an idea about empowering individuals against capitalistic system ii


you will at

the very beginning And it was only business sort of as side effect of that Thats sort of the

cultural history of Apple Apple has evolved over the


years
such that it now has very very

effective uh organizational system and set of mechanisms in place for protecting its

commercial interests which is what we ran into So what we ran into was we ran
essentially

into the legacy of commercial enterprise that was determined to


extremely historically protect

its intellectual property from anyone who might seek to take advantage of it And so what we

were talking about here was small of code from outdated of


very piece veiy piece

no longer had any commercial relevance


that
technology to everyone but it so happened that it

fell under copyright had established and


basically that Apple felt
compelled to uh maintain

And so it was interesting working with the Apple folks and the and the
Apple lawyers Apple

folks were good about and interested


meeting our needs because saw
this in
very very they

the clear benefit of what we were other But


doing for Apple among things uh you know they

had say ok were not going


to
basically to have its just single minded view on our

commercial interests this case this case makes more sense trade
in In it for us to that off of

you know of quesUonable value but of somewhat of value given this piece of intellectual

Page
Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

property in order to allow this other to happen which outside of sort of normal
thing is
any

commercial relationship And so it


was uh it was interesng to see that because it sort of

with uh this as you say you see between


resonated this collision of perspectives that raw

ideals on the one hand raw commercialism on the other hand and what happens is
they really

collide

But at the same time you know this is whats interesfing to me about my job is that the

commercial wodd is the wod in which sufficient resources can be marshaled to do big things

which is the same went started out as idealisUc and then


process Apple through Apple very

realized that the kinds of and


to really accomplish goals big goals visions that they had they

had to become an ongoing commercial enterpdse and had to become at which


quite good it

they did for at least certain peæod of Ume Uh and Ive you know Ive been pushing

Netscape from the


very beginning to become as big and as successM company as possible

because that will allow us to that have to do with the financial


accomplish bigger things nothing

results but have to do with the impact we can have on the wodd So
everything they are both

conflict to certain extent But the long term


in
over they are very intertwined and you really

cant get one done without the other Because the other this kind of
doing thing is in
industry or

in these kind of markets you cant operate like this on the basis of raw
company just

commercial interests There are also market that as as does there


in
changes fast this one

have to be ideas that are going have on the world


big to big impact Regardless of whether

or not it looks like they are going to be commercially successful now you have to be
right

bets ahead of the market and do you have have


willing to place well to that to real idea of

Page
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Tape 117

what are the idealistic opportunities and how can we push in that directions before
things it

before even looks like you could sell


it
possibly anything

Womans voice says he has to go they discuss doing couple more questions and check the time

No think there is
very fundamental change thats which that new
happening is

communications technologies that make it easier and faster to communicate have real impact

on our lives and we saw that with the anival of television and the telephone and so on It

fundamentally changed the kinds of things we do when we do things over what time frame we

do things The idea that you can call someone on the phone instanfly instead of send them

letter which takes five or six or ten or twenty days to get there or longer as did at one point uh

causes big change and you could argue that these increases in communication are

responsible for economic advancement time This another leap forward


all
through is
quantum

in terms of communications efficiency And basically the net and all of these associated

technologies including cellular phones and pagers and all of these are leading us
technologies

into wodd where communication faster and easier than ever and therefore
happens before

there becomes natural expectation placed on us as indMduals that we are going to be

connected network time And you see people now


into this all the this in individual in in
any

company internet
company or not are expected to be in contact more often are expected to

be on pagers are to be able be


expected to called at any time are expected to work from

home are expected to work more hours in the day Thats one of the interesting things thars

happened Technology the arrival of technology over the last several decades has actually

led to less leisure time not more leisure time which is ironic This is
deeply thing something

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Tape 117

think that we are going to have to watch and work with quite carefully because it
appears right

now that
technology my belief is that technology and the internet are not actually improving

productivity Rather they are making it possible for us to work more and therefore we can

accomplish more in total But were not right now accomplishing more per unit of time work

which is the measure of productivity and so as result we find our work lives and
expanding

our private lives shrinking And the


technology is
going to push us in that direction but were

the masters of the technology so we to be able to draw lines the sand against and
ought in that

that think thats something we probably have to pay lot more attention to And on the flip

side those of us who help design the technology have to about think uh how to make
worry

it easier and more useful for to take of and have not be something
people advantage it that

dominates our but rather


lives something that helps us Of course the technology
industry is

notorious for not being able to think but thats


that way think that not not natural evolution

That this should be forced to how can


try to
industry think of technology really help us as

opposed to what can do for its own sake and then afterwards what effect does
technology it

have on us

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Tape 117

what are the idealistic opportunities and how can we push things in that directions before it

before it even looks like you could possibly sell anything

Womans voice says he has to go they discuss doing couple more questions and check the time

No think there is
very fundamental change thats happening which is that new

communications that make easier and faster to communicate have real


technologies it
impact

on our lives and we saw that with the arrival of television and the telephone and so on It

fundamentally changed the kinds of


things we do when we do things over what time frame we

do things The idea someone on


you can send them
that call the instead of
phone instanfly

letter which takes or or ten or twenty as did


five six days to get there or longer at one point uh

causes big change and you could that these increases communication are
argue in

responsible for all economic advancement through time This is another quantum leap forward

in terms of communications And the net and of these associated


efficiency basically all

technologies including cellular


phones and pagers and all of these are leading us
technologies

into world where communication faster and easier than ever and therefore
happens before

there becomes natural expectation on us as individuals that we are going to be


placed

connected into this network the time And now


you see
all this in individual in in
people any

company internet
company or not are expected to be in contact more often are expected to

be on pagers are be able be called work from


expected to to at anytime are expected to

home are expected to work more hours in the day Thafs one of the interesting things thats

happened Technology the arrival of technology over the last several decades has actually

led to less leisure time not more leisure which ironic


tinie is
deeply thing This is
something

Page 10
Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

think that we are going to have to watch and work with quite because it
carefully appears right

now that technology. my belief is that technology and the Internet are not actually improving

productivity Rather they are making it possible for us to work more and therefore we can

accomplish more in total But were not right now accomplishing more per unit of bme work

which is the measure of and so as result we find our work lives and
productivity expanding

our private lives shrinking And the technology is


going to push us in that directbn but were

the masters of the technology so we ought to be able to draw lines in the sand against that and

something we have to And


that thats
think probably to
pay lot more attention on the flip

side those of us who help design the have to about think uh how to make
technology worry

it easier and more useful for people to take of and have not be something that
advantage it

dominates our lives but rather that us Of course the technology


something helps industry is

notorious for not being able to think that but thats not not evolution
way think that natural

That this industry should be forced to try to think of how can technology really help us as

opposed to what can technology do for its own sake and then afterwards what effect does it

have on us

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Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

Mark Andreesen Interview 6117198

So you could
argue that there is an archetype of the of the American scientists Its know
you

Alexander Graham Bell or Thomas Edison but them hasnt been an archetype yet for dont

know what is it the team or the network that develops In other words its always been

very solo individualistic experience in the past and now increasingly thats not the case But

Right Well its.. its interesting We seemed to have reached the


point
few years ago where

no individual the on desk or desk today


technologist. computer sitting your my theres no

dont think
technologist in the worid there may be one or two but theres not very many who

can actually understand different component of all its software and how functions And
every it

uh can think of couple people who might but not very many other than that The technical

systems that were building today in the computer industry are so complicated that there are no

individuals who can understand all of them and many large scale projects uh can even be

understood themselves by one so you have of team


individually by person this phenomenon

based development now becoming network based within broad


development happening very

groups of people who may not ever meet face to face who may not ever really know one

another or interact on any level other than almost


all ending up working together in
very

organic process building something collechvely that none of them could have built
by

themselves Thats probably new


fairly thing

Right Well the ldnd of


person who is most attracted to programming seems to be someone

who is
very interested in being on something of great complexity and
engaged intellectually

programming is one of the only software of the only


disciplines programming is
one disciplines

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Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

which can with technical systems and problems on


in
you grapple very large very complex

an individualized basis without


having to make huge investment in raw matehals mean for

example you know the process of building modem dam or bridge would be of equal

but would unless scale construction


complexity involve youre large company you cant

possibly do it..
programmers uh have mindset where like to
typically they they really

enjoy the intellectual of uh and then with and


process understanding interacting advancing

and solving large scale problems and scale that are


very very large systems expressed

of software So why you numbers


entirely thats just see huge of people now becoming

programmers because its an amazing outlet for that combination of technical skill aid

competence which people seek out for its own for its own value and also for the kind of

creativity that the software medium implicifly encourages Software is so much more malleable

than most other kinds of technical systems because theres nothing physical to it at all It can

be manipulated at will Uh and so it becomes sort of unique playing field for someone who

has the kind of mind to want to in there and do that with scale
go large system If
they could

do that in the real world with and with and with and with dams and
buildings bhdges with you

know solar
power stations amongst other things they probably would but that requires level

and you know


of investment money that individual doesnt have and
your typical programmer

would not be interested in to out how to deal with


trying figure

Sure Its much around Its much around


very complexity very being able to hold that

your head once which why you see programmers


all in at
complexity is
working in the middle

of the night like 20 or 30 hours time


working you said for at Its because what happens with

programmer the reason work for such of time and such


programmers long pedods at

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Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

unusual hours its because need to reach state into work session need to
they going they

reach the state which takes few hours of the zone will Its almost
typically getting in if
you

uh you know sort of like you talk about athletes getting in the zone for performance

standpoint in athletics Uh theres level of awareness and comprehension of the entire

system uh on mental basis that takes certain amount of time to get into And once you

have that in head thats when you can then on and done Arid so you
your operate it
get things

want maintain as long as you possibly addition which


to that for can in to many of the problems

you are then trying to solve are very complicated and take lot of time to work out themselves

Sure Yeah programmers who are very good at what they do tend to the rest of the
separate

wodd into those who are as good as they are at that and then
doing exactly thing everyone

else And uhm when people.. if


you take top tier
programmer when you get to be as good

as that person is there are only hnite number of people in the wood who are that at that
good

particular task And what all those people have in common is that this
theyre vety engaged in

particular kind of activity uhm and it becomes so much part of their lives that this is what they

value more than anything else And so the people that want to interact with and able to
they are

have uh are able to.. are able to deal with on an ongoing basis in that is
really way

enjoyable for them are people who can do also And can be
that it
certainly frustrating uh then

have people who you view


to to deal with as not being able to do that Of course theres

about programming that about this you see


is think this
nothing unique mirmring itself

whole series of and


throughout fields disciplines tJh but uh programming probably exhibits

it more than some other areas only because its probably somewhat of more solitary activity

The best
programming always happens one small number of
by person or very people as in

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Netscape Documentary
Tape 117

two or three but more often just one concentrating on thing So there is
very solitary aspect

of the acvity

Oh sure Yeah And there are large numbers of people who write code who are not the kinds

you and
of programmers that are about There are large numbers of who
talking people you

know come into work and will work for certain period of time and will write certain number

go home and
of lines of code and then do other things To them much more
it is ft
may be

very enjoyable job but it is much more of job Its much more of ifs one of the things that

they do in their lives To the kind of people who obsessed over these
get completely things

and who typically do the real breakthrough work on an individual basis which think is

probably at the heart of what were talking about uh they are going to be much more this is

going to be much more the central aspect of their lives and everything else is to take
going

role over time and some of these


say though
will that this
subsidiary is
changing barriers

are breaking down Its certainly far different now than it


was think ten twenty or thirty years

ago And ten years from now it will


probably be quite bit different still

think the thing youll notice software


in
company Netscape is
perfect example is
you

have you have across all of these different kinds of backgrounds you
have spectrum of

almost obsession or complete focus on the one hand and then you have spectrum of people

who go from there where you know them


will to the point some of do simply are going to view

more as do day and what they do


job that they are going hours
it its to for
job eight its for

living and its


important to them and its but their life is more defined their
enjoyable by family or

their life is more defined by outside activities Theres the What software
certainly spectrum

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