Microserfs - the future as predicted in 1995

Microserfs lego man

(Thanks to freezelight for the photo)

I've had a rewardingly unrewarding time skim-reading (skim re-reading) Microserfs by Douglas Coupland. I was looking for a quote to illustrate a point I'm making in a presentation. Alas to no avail.

However, I did stumble across the gems below in the process.

(The context for this is that the book is about a group of friends who are also geeky (and lowly) Microsoft employees. It was written in 1995 and the prescience of the author should be appreciated from that perspective).

The industry is made up of either gifted techies or smart generalists - the people who were bored with high school - the sort of people the teacher was always telling, "Now, Abe, you could get As if you really wanted to.  Why don't you just apply yourself?" Look for these people - the talented generalists. They're good as project and product managers. They're the same people who would have gone into advertising in 1973.

One psycho for every nine stable people in the company is a good ratio. Too many maniacally-driven people can backfire on you. Balanced people are better for the long term stability of the company.

"@" could become the "Mc" or "Mac" of the next millenium.

It's like male geeks don't know how to deal with real live women, so they just assume it's a user interface problem. Not their fault. They'll just wait for the next version to come out - something more "user friendly."

There's an endemic inability in the software industry to estimate the amount of time required for a software project.

Networked games, like where you have one person playing against another, are hot because you don't have to waste development dollars creating artificial intelligence. Players provide free AI.