October 18, 2002  ·  Lessig

Dave’s valid call for more and different software to cycle us out of Andy Grove’s “Valley of Death” reminds me of a favorite interview that helped me write my last book. Marc Andreessen described the environment in which innovation flourished in the valley — when the platform for innovation was neutral, and innovators did not fear the power of others to crush their innovation. Power in the software market was Andreessen’s concern. Power in the content market drives much of Markoff’s. But the point in both cases is the same: give the past a veto over the future, and the future will be vetoed.

I don’t have the full interview typed up, but here’s the chapter from the book. Marc’s stuff begins on page 265.

  • http://www.scripting.com Dave Winer

    Oy. Andreessen himself was one of the biggest forces for lock-in, and betting on him one of the biggest mistakes the Valley ever made. If he had been a visionary we wouldn’t be under Microsoft’s thumb now. This has been one of MS’s strongest and most valid defenses.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    I’ve got to concur somewhat. Ask
    Phillip Hallam-Baker about Marc A.
    and “lock-in”. One of the complexities
    of the Microsoft anti-trust issues, is
    that MS trying to kill Netscape, did
    not mean Netscape was an angel.

  • paul

    Andreesen a proponent of lock-in?

    Any links to pages that buttress that argument? I have been amused at the hoohah over “web services” as a new thing when the notion of OS irrelevance/everything runs in a browser was what Netscape was all about. If being able to run applications that anyone can write in a browsser architecture that runs on every platform (Netscape supported just about every OS extant while MSFT focused on their and Mac OS) means I’m locked in, I’ll take it.

  • raha azad