Thursday, May 01, 2008

My experience with Notes

Joel complains about how architecture astronauts, like Lotus Notes' Ray Ozzie, is now building the same useless technical toy at Microsoft.

Lotus, of course, began its life with 1-2-3, and then became the sales and marketing arm for Notes, that was developed by Iris. The Iris group kept some of their old offices and signage and continued to work on the convolution that is Notes. I worked there for a summer, and still have no idea why it's anything other than a crappy version of Outlook (not a high bar).

The technical culture at Lotus was exactly like what Joel describes -- people fiddling around with toys and no thought to actually solving real problems. Any solution began as a small, useful idea, and then had layers and layers of architecture wrapped around it until it became a Network Operating System, or whatever. It's not surprising that Ray tried to build the same thing at Groove (which I tried and failed to us) and will try, one more time, at MSFT.

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