Cale Bruckner had an interesting post over the weekend, tracking an open discussion between Joel Spolsky, of Fog Creek, well-known blogger and software author, and the developers of BaseCamp. It is about software developers trying to figure out the future of software. These are tough choices.
I’m sure Joel – like a lot of software publishers is feeling vulnerable. Maybe that’s why he lashed out. Technical barriers to entry are coming down – it’s getting to the point where it’s pretty easy (and inexpensive) for a few kids and an iguana (Joel’s words) to reverse engineer a software application and drop it on a server somewhere. Fog Creek is better off if their customers think "installable" is a requirement – that’s harder to copy – there’s a barrier there. These days, it’s less about the software and more about marketing. That’s a hard thing for some software publishers, especially the veterans, to get their head around.