Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Anil Dash Is the New CEO of Fog Creek Software

Joel Spolsky (Hacker News):

In short, we need Anil to help support us with ideas and leadership for HyperDev (now renamed Gomix) and any future products we come up with, and we need his soapbox and industry connections to continue to keep Fog Creek Software relevant. Thus I think the perfect position for him is as CEO of Fog Creek Software.

A typical startup is built around a single product, and some theory that people will pay money for that product. This theory eventually become false, and the company goes away. But Fog Creek was different. We were just a place where great people come together to build great things. People come here because of the other people that are here. And that makes it fundamentally much stronger and longer lasting.

That sounds great for the employees and company, but I was really hoping to read about a strong commitment to continuing to improve the supposed flagship product, FogBugz.

Benjamin Pollack:

The downside, of course, is redundancies and frayed vision. In a world where Trello and StackExchange remained at Fog Creek, I can imagine Fog Creek being the productivity company, with all of these tools tightly integrated à la Microsoft Office and presenting a coherent vision of how to develop software. You won’t get that if you’re spread across multiple companies. And, of course, you can end up in situations where, specifically because of all the reasons I pointed out above, two of your companies are going at each other a bit (e.g. Trello vs. FogBugz), which, even if subtle (those products don’t honestly actually compete much), means you’re spending at least some money competing with yourself. And, of course, you lose out on being able to easily move employees from one company to another, reusing technology amongst multiple companies, etc.

See also: what happened with Co-pilot and Kiln.

Update (2016-12-07): Anil Dash:

Fog Creek’s flagship product FogBugz has long been the best tool for helping teams make great software — I know because we used to use it to make Movable Type and TypePad back when I was helping get those products off the ground a decade ago.

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