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.”

About the author.

In 2000 I co-founded Fog Creek Software, where we created lots of cool things like the FogBugz bug tracker, Trello, and Glitch. I also worked with Jeff Atwood to create Stack Overflow and served as CEO of Stack Overflow from 2010-2019. Today I serve as the chairman of the board for Stack Overflow, Glitch, and HASH.