Joel on Software - “Strategy Letter II: Chicken and Egg Problems” - Fortune

Joel on Software - “Strategy Letter II: Chicken and Egg Problems”

When the Macintosh first came out, there was no software available for it. So obviously, Apple created a giant glossy catalog listing all the great software that was “available”. Half of the items listed said, in fine print, “under development,” and the other half couldn’t be had for love or money. Some were such lame products nobody would buy them. But even having a thick glossy catalog with one software “product” per page described in glowing prose couldn’t disguise the fact that you just could not buy a word processor or spreadsheet to run on your 128KB Macintosh. There were similar “software product guides” for NeXT and BeOS. (Attention, NeXT and BeOS bigots: I don’t need any flak about your poxy operating systems, OK? Write your own column.) The only thing a software product guide tells you is that there is no software available for the system. When you see one of these beasts, run fleeing in the opposite direction.

Author Joel Spolsky
Work Strategy Letter II: Chicken and Egg Problems