Confessions of an Architecture Astronaut — Taking a Lesson from Napster

Twelve Years Later, Joel Spolsky’s early posts are still relevant.

Browse through his posts circa 2001 and you’ll find a ton that are still amazingly relevant (and not just the Joel Test):

Your typical architecture astronaut will take a fact like “Napster is a peer-to-peer service for downloading music” and ignore everything but the architecture, thinking it’s interesting because it’s peer to peer, completely missing the point that it’s interesting because you can type the name of a song and listen to it right away. . . .

Then they’ll build applications like Groove that they think are more general than Napster, but which seem to have neglected that wee little feature that lets you type the name of a song and then listen to it — the feature we wanted in the first place. Talk about missing the point. If Napster wasn’t peer-to-peer but it did let you type the name of a song and then listen to it, it would have been just as popular.

Bam! I see myself in this. Real food to think about.

Don’t Let Architecture Astronauts Scare You