August 22, 2001

Can a tech business survive on the hacker ethic alone?

Author: JT Smith

Kelly McNeill writes "Imagine the perfect high-tech company. One in which everyone adheres to the "Hacker Ethic" of writing the programs they want to do, not the programs that others want them to write. Back in the early years of the personal computer, many hardware and software companies were formed around the "good ideas" developed by idealistic individuals operating under that basic value. Those companies survived, for a time, almost purely on the basis that their hardware and software offerings were considered novel in an emerging personal computer market. But gradually these companies fell by the wayside, as the novelty wore off and consumers started asking for "IBM PC compatibility" and "Microsoft Windows compatibility."


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