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LinuxWorld: /dev/null: A developer's tale

Apr 11, 2000, 17:10 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by J.S. Kelly)

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"Do people really care so much about money and power that they are willing to throw their ethics down the toilet and exploit their fellow man? People do. Read about software, patents, greed, and innovation in this week's /dev/null."

"I was researching software patents for an article I'm writing when I went to lunch with a friend of mine. He works at a Silicon Valley startup that operates under a cloud of secrecy. That part of his story is pretty ordinary."

"But his is a garage-based startup, with no desire for angels, seeds, venture capital, or IPOs. My friend is a free software kind of guy, and the main thing that he and his partners are trying to do is to launch a successful Internet-based business. They think they've found a new niche, the way eBay and Amazon once did. Their product is super secret, because they want to be first to market. But if they are successful, they want to concentrate on one core aspect of that niche and not grow "too much." They want to be their own bosses, but they don't want to be huge. They do not want to work for The Man, nor do they want to become The Man. So their exit strategy is neither to sell out nor to IPO, but to run their own small business as per the American dream."

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