We are thrilled to learn of the final demise and ultimate death of Netscape — even though it is only in browser form and not a company any longer.
Netscape, as a company, was one of the most arrogant entities in the mid-90’s as it professed its superiority while sitting on its elegance. As a browser, Netscape did some good things. As the company behind the browser — Netscape stink, stank, stunk!
Microsoft spanked Netscape — both browser and company — with the
release of Internet Explorer and that threat to Netscape’s marketshare
indicated the slow and timely demise of a company rotten at its core.
Authors who had to deal with Netscape were in for sore lessons in being blocked and pushed away.
If you wanted to know something about Netscape — you didn’t ask the
company — you asked other end users because the company didn’t feel
they owed you anything.
However, once the market turned and Netscape began its decline, you
couldn’t throw a Netscape product manager off your back for all the PR
in the world.
When Netscape needed you, they gave you access. When they didn’t
think they needed you — and all companies both big and small need
friends in the print and online media — they shunned you.
Microsoft — Evil Empire and all — has always valued its product
fans and provided a wealth of information for any and all authors.
Microsoft knows how to create good feelings and a hot want for a
product and they never push you away. They always welcome a new mind
and a great thought — even if the results are critical.
Google, in my experience, is fast becoming the next Netscape, in that they’re good to their people, but they fear outside influence too much.
Google does not have a friendly and cogent way of dealing with the
press in a proactive and warm and positive manner — so authors, and
other writers, are left to fend for themselves in the wilds and wager
guesses against the Googleplex ether and sometimes you’re successful —
but most times — you are not.
Hinting doesn’t replace facts wagered against thousands of dollars in publishing costs.
Google needs to step up and officially support authors
as Microsoft does — or they risk unwittingly reaping the fear and the
wrath of burned authors and writers when Google begins its inevitable
slow decline in the long and inglorious shadow of Netscape.
Here is the lesson most of us never learn, but can never quite forget: Greatness lasts forever — great companies do not.