Totzkeeeeee's Blog

Just because I can...

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It tolls for thee, Llama.  It looks like AOL has whipped the Llama's ass for the last time.  WinAmp's original crew have parted ways with the company.  The corporate culture (or perhaps the lack thereof ) that made NullSoft such a fantastic place to work and allowed them to turn out such a wonderful product was completely at odd's with the strict environment of a company like AOL.  After purchasing NullSoft in 1999 for 100 million dollars, things have been on a steady decline and it was all but over once NullSoft founder and WinAmp creator Justin Frankel resigned last January. 

It's a shame really.  There are those that are blaming AOL for the destruction of the company but, after all, NullSoft cashed the check.  What the hell were they expecting?  You don't put a $100 million of somebody's money into your pocket and expect them not to have a say in your operations.  And while P2P and open source are interesting diversions (i.e. Gnutella) they are completely at odds with the corporate environment in which they now find themselves.  I think that zbuffered expressed it best in the comment on the BetaNews site:

Gnullsoft == Nullsoft (makers of winamp)
Nullsoft is owned by AOL.
AOL and Time-Warner are merging.
Time-Warner is, indirectly, suing Napster.
Therefore, Time-Warner, which owns Gnullsoft, is suing it's competition.
Isn't corporate America crazy?

Yes, it is.  Insanity is a common side effect of the product of an incestuous relationship.  And zbuffered hits the nail right on the head when it comes to AOL putting the kibosh on Gnutella.  How could Time-Warner possible justify a law suit against Napster, when it is indirectly producing a product that does exactly the same thing? 

So, while I'd love to rant and rave about how “The Corporations” are stiffling creativity and holding back innovaiton, I lose the urge when the image of Frankel cashing the $100 million check pops back into my head. 

Just because I can...(at least until I get my $100M check, but then I probably won't care any more)


posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 4:44 PM