[A picture of private offices at Fog Creek Software] Alert! This ancient trifle retrieved from the Joel on Software archive is well-past its expiration date. Proceed with care.

Joel on Software

2001/04/18

by Joel Spolsky
Wednesday, April 18, 2001

The Joel on Software discussion group is starting to show signs of life. Cool! At some point I have to figure out how to use the categories feature to sort out old postings.

Stupid IT Research

Forrester Research says that content management software is about to "explode." "According to a recent report from the Yankee Group, sales of content management software will grow to $3 billion in 2004, up from $900 million in 2000."

I hate those cheesy market research companies who come up with ridiculous numbers and extrapolations (suitable for business plans) that make no sense, which, frankly, they pulled out of their tokhes. They always have these lame bar charts where they only have data for this year, then they extrapolate out four years assuming a typical 736.13% rate of growth, a number they divined by rolling dice and tossing bones about haphazardly.

It's cool, because you can make a business plan that shows that if you can get only 1% of the market for content management, you'll be making $30m a year, which easily supports 250 employees. So you show the stupid veecees the report from Forrester (or Jupiter, or Gartner, or one of the less popular ones) and they give you enough money to hire 250 people, and two years later you've got $254 in revenue from selling tomatoes you grew in the company backyard and you have to fire everyone.

Conclusion: if your business plan includes projections from IT research firms, you better start planting tomatoes.

From the "Why We Don't Want VC" Department

Philip Greenspun: "I was pushed out of ArsDigita by the venture capitalists and managers that I brought in."


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, insanely simple project management, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracker designed to help great teams develop brilliant software, and Kiln, which simplifies source control. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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