I talk to lots of people who come here
looking for the Silicon Valley experience
They arrive with one suit case in hand
when they head south on the 101.
Hoping to see it this place they've heard about
and its freeways, and its office parks
and its strip malls, and
it looks like every place they've ever been
end up wondering where are they come,
why did they come here,
what was that brought them
Code itself is the underlying thing that makes computers work
Why is it important to the world, it's because
it's the blood of the organism, that's our culture now,
it makes everything go
Technology has become a God of our society now
I mean I think that its--people stand in awe of it
and stand in awe of the people that make it
There's a sense that software is a kind of new frontier
it's you know it's the old gold rush metaphor
the California gold rush all over again
It's the kind of Hollywood of the Twenties.
This very small set of people is really defining
how our world's gonna be like
I mean you know the computer becoming ubiquitous
and the way we interact with the world
more and more mediated through the computer
is this very small group of people
defining what that world's gonna be like.
Less than three years ago
a small team of engineers at Netscape Communications
created software that made surfing the Internet easy
and in the process change the face of computing
On this day however, the company is in big trouble
driven to the ground by its rival and software colossus Microsoft
Only a radical strategy will help save it.
"Let's hear a loud Mozilla !"
Mozilla ! Mozilla ! Mozilla !
Netscape is giving away its source code
to programmers outside the company
The source code is the secret formula for browsing the web
The code is named Mozilla and if widely adapted
it will make Netscape's code the Internet standard
drawing users to its other products
and restoring the company's sagging fortunes.
Our story focuses on team of engineers
who will come together in this building
Over the course of the next year
they will turn their lives inside-out to create Mozilla
and battle a giant competitor to save their company
and shape the future of computing.
Right now we have a problem with the work looks like it can't possibly be done
for the date we announced
so were just trying to
drill down on how doomed we are
and sometimes the only way to do that is
to get everybody in the room and stare each other in the eyes.
We said were giving you Netscape Communicator on 3/31
so if were not giving them Netscape Communicator on 3/31
we need a way to address that.
The goal is to get Mozilla to developpers by March 31th
a few shorts weeks from now
it is one of the most ambitious schedules in the company history.
- It's a joke
- I think we have been very exclusive
Michael Toy one of Netscape's first employees
heads the team that will prepare Mozilla for public release.
We're probably doomed, we're probably gonna fail
Microsoft is probably gonna squish us like bug anyway
but just cause were doomed doesn't mean
you know we cant get up in the morning and do work
the honorable Michael Toy presiding.
I'm pretty flip with my kids about what I do.
What do you do at work dad? Oh I don't know I sit in meetings
and feel depressed and I read e-mail.
Oh oh you got me !
But they think my office is the greatest place in the world though
It's like "Oh were going to your office ?"
"Oh yeah yippie I love going to your office !"
They play with the guns and there is free soda
and there is the giant balls
basically I work at Disneyland as far as they're concerned.
I talk about marathon versus sprint.
The hard part is to run with significant intensity the whole way
knowing that if you ever start walking
you're not going to make it and just keep the end in sight
and know that there's this urgency.
Jim Roskind an expert on software security
is brought in to enforce rigorous standards of engineering precision.
Imagine if you had a project
where you felt doom was imminent
all the different players wondering
are they pushed beyond their level
can they think of way of running faster,
can anyone help them ?
So there's lot of tension
and anxiety over making the schedule.
Jamie Zawinski, free source code evangelist
will enlist outside developers to Netscape's cause.
The free source thing is trying to change the rules, right.
There are people who have the free software religion,
the one thing they have in common is they're all hackers
they're all like writing code
so you hoping to tap in to all of those smart people
and get something from them, you know, so that everyone benefits..
I talk about 2 millions and 2 half millions lines of code
and everyone of them has to be gone over
carefully and in some cases twice.
With hundreds of engineers converging on Mozilla,
with new code to enable its release,
Tara Hernandez make sure
that their changes do not crash Mozilla
and brings everyones work to a halt.
This is how we keep track
of all the changes that are going in.
Green is good.
Lot of changes going on right here,
and wham, the build all died.
Ok, alright, bye.
Some of the worst crashes are reserved for Scott Collins
a veteran code writer who stands by
for late night troubleshooting.
I've been here for about
I don't know, 60 hours or so.
Writing software is different from
selling real estate.
Selling real estate you sell the people
the people sleep at night.
When they go to sleep you have to stop selling real estate
Computers never sleep.
You can see my cube is decked out a little bit better than
all the people's.
I have a nice couch
little mattress under there I can sleep in
artwork from my children
I have control the light switches.
This is what I'd like to get if my wife truly love me
she'd let me have one.
Life is good.
Alright, there are a ton of bugs on here that
people just aren't doing anything about.
To give away its code
Netscape engineers must make thousands of bug fixes
Often minute changes that will allow the code
to be used by outside developpers.
Jeff Weinstein has, one, two,
three, four, five, six,
seven, eight, nine, ten,
eleven, twelve, thirteen.
One bug hidden in the mass of code
can stop everyone else's work
and can threaten the ship date.
I need someone to page Jeff Weinstein
and get him to call 2024.
Even a team of twenty people building a car
it's easy to step back fourty feet and look and go
"Hold it, that guy has not putting on the wheel"
You have fourty programmers working
they all come to you with code, a gigantic morass
of little details piled up on a disc
usually can even see the pieces whether they're doing it correctly
You have to assemble it into a whole
and then see if the whole works
and then you're not even sure of who gave you the bad bits.
That would be bad. Let's go downstairs, come on!
You're talking about a recipe.
Who gave you the bad flour.
Someone went out to grind flour,
and they had to all be exactly
the right size chunks of flour.
Someone else made chocolate chips,
they all had to be exactly the right size chunks.
You can't figure it out until you put it all together
you hand it out, and people go.
"I don't like the way this tastes"
And now you have to wonder,
with all these details coming together
which was the problem
who's causing the problem, how can you fix it?
You've got to ship on a certain time.
And now you have all this people,
you have the clock ticking and it gets pretty intense.
Since Netscape began
the amount of code making up Mozilla
has increased by a factor of 30.
The job of programming and debugging it
rests upon a precarious balance of science and art.
They talk about what they do as if
it was a kind of alchemy, a kind of wizardry.
It does remind me of athletics in that way.
You know why is someone a good baseball hitter?
Often the hitters themselves can't really explain it.
And often the best software people
cannot themselves understand why they're so good at it.
But I think make a great programmer is being raised techie.
My particular team at Netscape, I think we all grew up techie
We all grew up with computers around us somewhere,
so that we were exposed to them before we became
adults, if any of us are really adults
Jim is the most grownup of us.
A lot of my childhood from roughly age 6 to age 17
was around here.
Life was just a nightmare, this is a very, very scary place
the two school wasn't too bad.
Ah, but it meant it
you'd get to work on puzzles and problems.
All of the puzzling is math,
and that puzzling is the exact same feeling
the exact same problem that you go through
when you're programming.
When I was young it'd be building with erector sets and Lego
now the structures that you build are in software.
My mom is a first class geek too.
And so I have a unique experience of being able to talk
shop with my mom, cuz' she's a director of
really important stuff at Sun.
At Netscape one of the code words for is the average person
who is going to be able to use this software is,
"Well can my mom use it?"
Yeah, my mom can use it.
My mom can write optimizing compilers.
By the time I was 12 years old I was making 50 bucks an hour
People say what should I be should I grow up to be a...
I say computer programmer.
The thing about that makes it a youth culture
is one's capacity to throw one's entire life on the line
with these firms
Entire life commitment meaning
24-7-365 work commitment.
It's throwing yourself into a thing
where you don't know if that job
is going to be around soon.
There's no stability in here.
So the very kind of weird irony
is that very people who are inventing the future
can't see their own future.
This is a monk-life existence
there are very few women in these societies.
These are male societies,
they are secret societies,
they function very much like the Masons
or some street gang.
Evil ! Evil !
Evil man !
Why am I an evil man ?
Did you or did you not hear a man saying Why am I an evil man ?
Did you or did you not hear a man saying
if you have a source leaving one bug, you will be
in here at 1:30.
I thought it was 2:30
Now you're evil and stupid.
You now that, I'm actually just in a different time zone.
I thought stupidity was an excuse though.
A lot of people at Netscape don't get out much
because they're at work all the time but
most of people's social interaction I would expect is
revolves around work just because
so many people spend so much of their time at work.
Hi Chris, it's Tara
um, how much do you love me?
What do you know about way the threading stuff
All we have left to hold on to, really
is the work place, I mean it is the modern village.
People get to know your history
they shrug at your bad jokes.
There's a kind of familiarity that
and continuity that we don't have elsewhere.
we're going go out in a while and get something to eat
and do stupid things. You're interested?
Sure. Sure. Right.
Ok, the purpose of this meeting is not to beat up people
the purpose of this meeting is to make sure that
as a company we are incredibly focused on
getting the bug count to 0
we've been moderately focused up until now
we need to be deadly focused
from here on in.
Ok Jeff Weinstein
is he in this room?
He's not in this room.
Did not check-in this weekend, true or false?
He did not check-in this weekend
He did not answer his mail
and he hasn't answered his phone yet either.
His locator shows he's with the rest of the colonists
The old saying is that trying to manage programmers
is like trying to herd cats.
You know you want them to be cats
if you like cats, I mean 'cause you want what's unique about
But they really don't all like to go in the same direction.
In less than four years
Netscape has grown from a handful of people
to over 200
and sometimes, locating a programmer
become yet another obstacle
for the browser team to overcome.
I'd say he's not in there.
That would be my guess, straight out.
He's not there.
When's the last time he was in here?
Tara and I are ready to take a hit out on him.
and well if ya see him when he comes back tell him to
panic and run around and we're like
doomed on Mac right now with this thing.
Doomed ! doomed on Mac right now with this thing.
The person working on Mac is like waiting for data right ?
You should go around to every person in the company saying, "Doomed!"
Netscape predicament has much to do with this man
Bill Gates, whose company, Microsoft
has made him the richest, and arguably
the most powerful man in the world.
Allright if we can have order we'd like to begin.
Viewing Netscape's browser
as a potential threat to his computing empire
Gates has moved swiftly,
making his own browser free
and Netscape claims,
also engaging an unfair business practices
to take away its customers.
But we need to explore today
whether you and your company
have crossed the line
or on the other hand
whether this is just the carping of disgruntled rivals.
Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale
argues his company's case before the Senate.
And certainly nobody here on this panel is
a greater admirer of Mr. Gates
or his company than I am.
But we do ask that Microsoft
be held accountable
for some of their actions.
Actions that intimidate PC OEM manufacturers
to use their products and exclusionary practises
that prevent them from using my products.
Not all companies succeed.
Some fail to embrace change.
This is the way technology in the free market works.
The software industry's success
has not been driven by government regulation
but by freedom and the basic human desire
to learn, to innovate and to excel.
Meanwhile thousand of miles away
Netscape programmers continue working around the clock
in a race to meet Mozilla's release date.
These guys they tend to work very consistently,
so they'll just keep working until it's done and they won't stop.
They don't need food, they don't need sleep,
they don't need anything
OK, so they take pay, but...
A while ago some people from Harvard came and said
"Well how do you develop software, we're writing a book" and I
and I talked about all the things I thought
were really important and they were just
it felt to me like they were shaking their heads going,
Oh, gee, he doesn't know about Principle 7
and oh, he doesn't know about Principle 22
and in some ways they're right... I really haven't got a clue.
Right I really like to err on the side of
every day we wake up in the morning and say
based on what I know today
what's the best way to get to where we all want to go?
I personally or me and you three of us
do no have time to read all two millions of source code
to see that, there are no remaining problems.
We're going over here
zeroing in on Jeff Weinstein.
With March 31st only days away
the team can't proceed until Jeff Weinstein
an expert on some of Netscapes most arcane code
finds time to complete the bug fixes on his list.
How are you doing ?
you are officially the most doomed
individual in the company sir
this one I can close, stay with this one
yeah bunch of these
Um hopefully I'll get most of it done tonight
His goal he was just going to stay all night
and he was going to get it all done.
The good news is actually I think by about
I'm not sure if it was 9 or 11 o'clock at night
he actually was completely done.
Reaching a critical milestone
is cause for celebration.
And one bug left
and it's a really really hard one
Don't make me kill you, close 4330.
I will close 4330.
Bug count is small
there are some bugs that are not currently closed
but most of them are like piddly little annoying things that
Some of its stuck !
All praise the uh the mighty ones that created tremendous pile of
people working really hard this week to do the impossible.
There is this magic phrase that Michael Toy invented
which is "Zarro Boogs", hum
which is it's not quite perfect
but it's perfect enough
as zero bugs / "zarro boogs".
Do you have a spare monitor upstairs?
Yes I do have a spare monitor.
This is the first big test
Will an outsider actually be able to make Mozilla work?
If not Netscape stands a good chance of missing its March 31st deadline
I thought it's gonna be huge thing,
I thought it's gonna be like a hundred,
two hundred people here like all and rows
like with soviet style.
We are near that organized
Looks like it's all here, here we go!
Wow! All good, it's pretty simple how stuff is built.
It's just there's set of scripts that are set up
to say exactly what to compile and then
they all get globbed together into Mozilla hopefully.
- Here it is - Yeah
If you get it to work, then it means anybody can get it to work.
(WILD CHEERING clapping laughter)
- And look It has an about face! - ...Look it's so cute...
- Oh, that was pretty
- Yeah it's... - No, I don't think it's working.
- Well go to the.. - Well - Oh... - Big crash...
- Hell shot the foot...
It's actually going really well.
I didn't think we'd actually get somebody
to build this quickly.
We had to do one small adjustment and it worked!
With the source almost ready to ship,
Netscape must explain the significance
of Mozilla to the press.
Basically what we wanna do is we wanna give them a little bit of the history
and then we wanna go into the what's actually going to happen tomorrow.
The other important take away then too from this
is that this is a really exciting cool thing.
- Good afternoon, Forrester - Hi Stan Dolberg and uh Eric Brown please.
- One second.
- You've reached voicemail for Stan Dolberg -- I'll transfer you now
- Good afternoon, Forrester.
- Hi this is Maggie Young.
I'm calling from Netscape and I have scheduled
conference call with Stan Dolberg and Eric Brown
and I just got Stan's voicemail.
Netscape hopes the press will greet Mozilla with the same enthusiasm
it had for the company in its early days.
At eleven AM this morning, Netscape's stock went public and Wall Street went bonkers.
Initially offer had a price of 38 $ a share,
Netscape shut up to 72 within minutes...
The stock is bid up at extraordinary levels
in the first couple of really days and weeks
of its introduction.
It is the biggest initial public offering
in basically the Wall Street history.
- Good afternoon, Forrester
- Hi this is Josh Walker.
Today less than three years after its record breaking IPO however,
Netscape's story generates a different response.
- Hi there - Yup
- As you now tomorrow is March 31st
- So that means hum, source code will be made
available to the developer community.
And we thought we would just
catch you up to speed and walk you through
that and see if you had some questions.
- Either I'm braindead or it takes lot of effort to communicate
and so I'm concerned that while you all know
what it means, I'm not confident
that it's coming across to the press.
- Right, I think those are good points.
By opening up the source code, we basically extend our developer community
from those folks that are inside of Netscape
to hundreds and thousands of developers
outside of Netscape
so it's no longer Netscape versus Microsoft.
It's Netscape and all of the Netscape,
you know, virtual community.
- I think there is a belief that Netscape
doesn't have a position to continue
to compete with Microsoft
in the browser front and that
in essence you've given up on the browser position.
This was a lot more smooth than I had originally anticipated.
I'm still waiting for the major bump in the road
that's gonna happen some time between now
and tomorrow afternoon.
In software development there is
always a bump in the road.
We just want to hear the Apple story
They just can't quite get themselves comfortable
with the patent grant or with
whatever we tried to do to fix it for them.
So the last thing back out of their lawyer was
"gee, oh I don't know that we get enough protection."
Mozilla has a small piece of code from Apple that has not been cleared for public license.
- Ok. - We have to escalate.
- Hi this is Mark Andreeson,
I called a few minutes ago, and left message
we're trying to get - the problem is I can't get phone
there's no one at the Apple switchboard
so I'm having a hard time getting phone numbers for people.
Hold on, 6 2 0.
In order to ship Mozilla the next morning,
Scott Collins is called in
to replace Apple's code with his own invention.
And theoretically we believe this is possible.
It's my last bug. When I complete this bug,
I will be allowed to rest.
So I stayed up until about 5:40,
this morning writing this replacement class.
It made my life a living hell.
I got it basically running, it's all running,
it's all really good, and thank heavens
we got permission from Apple
to ship the regular source.
It's my understanding that Jamie
is gonna be the person that's gonna be pushing
the bits up to the website at around 10:00,
is that correct?
And we're gonna be staging some different
photo opportunities for the press at that time,
there will be television cameras you know news crews
- Couldn't we just like hire actors to do this for us?
- ...just tell them they get to be on TV come on.. - We're not gonna mandate it..
- You're on TV right now. - We've been on TV for two months.
- I don't think anyone is gonna come.
One way to learn to run a marathon
is put a person out 26 miles into the desert,
and say, you know, there's this bomb on your back
that's gonna go off in a certain length of time
if you don't get into the town.
Well, that'll motivate you to get in
but there is a certain chance that you'll be blown up.
- You know what time it is? - Yeah it's five to ten.
- Aah! Going to be late. Hurry up!
Welcome everybody to the conference call.
Thanks for joining us this morning.
Today Netscape announced that
the first developer release of its Communicator 5.0
source code is available for download
from the Mozilla dot org website.
- You know where Tara is?
- Second floor?
- It's first floor, way on the other side.
And then today on the end of March,
as we announced, we are pushing the code
out to the Web as they say,
and we are delighted to be part of it
and we're very excited to see what happens.
The good news is the marathoner is now
coming into town with that bomb on his back
and it looks like he's gonna make it.
- This is the moment of truth!
They don't have theoretical framework
to write software, they're just writing it.
It's just like hitting the baseball.
If their code gets a home run,
nobody's asking questions.
Well, this doesn't make sense,
or why do you that, why does it work.
Nobody cares why it works.
- Wait this is bad. - What's that?
- Well it's not connecting to... - The machine that controls
the FTP push is, like, not answering.
- Is it loaded? - It's "blast" not "blash".
- Oh - Yeah maybe they're...
- Mac's there. UNIX is there. Windows is there. - We're done!
- It's on! - Yeah!
- Since Jamie is here, I am told that means
that we have now pushed the source out on the Net.
Is that correct ?
- Actually, we decided not to.
We thought it was a stupid idea.
- That's our story and were sticking to it.
For a moment, everyone at Netscape
takes a breather.
- I think it's gonna work out.
In the first hour of its release,
the source code is downloaded thousands of times
but the number of downloads is no guarantee
that Netscape will receive enough valuable contributions
to help the company to reverse its slide.
He's known as Pavlov to me. He's Pavlov at
Pavlov.net, on IRC he's Pavlov or Pav or
um, Pav Sleeping, or Pav Tired Up Too Late.
And um without him I think we'd be months behind.
Netscape's notoriety draws code writers
from around the world willing to work on Mozilla without pay.
One such contributor comes from rural Georgia.
I've been amazed over the last two or three years,
when especially his mother would come tell me
"Well, so and so called" from maybe New York
and they were coming to Atlanta
and they wanted to talk to Stuart or see him,
and they were gonna go down and have lunch.
"Well", I'd say "Who is this person from New York?"
And the all of a sudden "Well, he's been working
with Stuart on some programming issues
for a year or so and he wanted to come down
and meet. "Well, did you tell him you're only sixteen?"
I had no idea. Um, and that's great,
that's a wonderful thing because
he's contributing. It doesn't matter that he's young.
The place we call the cave. We just shut the door
and this is where he does whatever he does.
It is flabbergasting to think that your child
has done something for this worldwide company
instead of his homework.
I went and looked back at the older code
and I was really frightened by how
incredibly messy and just awful the code looked.
It would have taken you know
years to try and figure out what it was doing.
So we basically did it from scratch.
Pretty much I'm providing the code that makes
the browser show everything faster
and more efficiently than it used to.
His keyboarding is almost just like talking.
It's just um, an expression.
He can express himself that way
and it's just totally unconscious, almost.
Just a part of how he communicates.
In the past, free code contributions
helped build the Internet.
How commercial enterprise would benefit
from free code remains a big question.
Well, it's certainly my hope that
the enormous amount of new people
that no one company could afford
to have working on any product,
now contributing to the Netscape Navigator
Communicator will make a significant difference
in the improvement of the product.
How that works against any competitor,
remains to be seen.
-Good morning -Good morning, Thank you.
David Readerman an analyst for San Francisco Investment Bank,
closely monitors Netscape's radical plan
for investors eager to participate
in the Internet stock boom.
The market is really kind of a voting machine,
it's voting yes I believe that vision statement.
Yes I believe that's gonna result in products sales.
Yes that's going to drive earnings up, and
you know stocks should traded accordingly.
The financial benefits to Netscape of
giving away its source code are hard to measure.
I understand why Netscape's trying to do it.
They still have to show me that
behind the vision and the slideware,
there's a real sustainable business model
that can deliver earnings hum,
and so I'm in show-me mode for Netscape.
Now, my job will be three times
as hard as it was yesterday and it was already ten times harder than it needed to be.
Right? Did I just work really hard to ship
the company jewels out of the building and
it's just gonna end in us dying
and rolling in poison and misery.
The day after this stuff goes out,
you really don't get to let up.
There is then the sort of day in day out,
go to work turn on the computer, code, code code.
- Thanks Tara.
- Yeah what's your doctor say Tara?
- Uh, my doctor says interestingly enough
that I work too much
and uh, that if I went to work today after
my appointment he would personally kill me.
I have an agreement with myself
that by the time I'm 35, I'm either going
to be high school teacher or bartender,
but something, anything other than a
in a position in the hightech industry,
otherwise I'll probably die by the time I'm 40.
Uh, now that I'm an old guy
I've kind of been round the block
couple times and you can go from realizing,
"This just never stops, does it?"
And that being really depressing
because you feel like it "I'm on, I'm on".
I said I was never going to be on the treadmill
and here I am. I'm on the treadmill.
I'm going to be running like this forever.
Because they're good at software,
they need to keep pace.
And as a result, keeping pace means
to shut a lot of other things out.
They just don't have time to read,
time to hear about the world.
They don't have much time for their families.
Um, but when you're in situation where
you really have a lot of work to do
and no time to do it,
you know, you pick what you want.
Some people pick wanting to have a family.
Some people pick wanting to
get some software done.
Christopher was born right after I started at Netscape,
and I basically missed the first
two years of his life because of the intensity.
I'd work 'til about 7 or 8 o'clock,
come home, eat dinner,
put the kids to bed, and then go back to work,
or work from home, until 2 or 3
in the morning, and was like the Dad zombie.
He would call and say, I'm on my way home
and then it would be 2 or 3 hours and
you know, the romantic dinner candles
had burned down
and I was thinking he was dead
by the side of the road so,
you know if 24 hours goes by
and I don't hear from him,
that I pretty much know where to find him.
I live in Michigan. And I commute.
So it's quite a long commute,
I don't make it every day.
I only make it about every two weeks or so.
But um, It is quite a time change.
Here it's something like 12:01
in the morning, and there it's 1954.
The motivation from moving back here is
I wanted to get into a community,
put roots down, and you know, feel settled.
And I...Life is just different out there,
it really is. I mean here people like worked
car factory or whatever... thirty years and out.
We spent, like, 45 minutes talking about all his
like, his whole story, from job, to job, to job, to job.
I thought it was pretty cool.
He had like ten or something, jobs.
He seemed to do it a lot during particularly peak
stressful times, like, you know, baby due
in two months, I'm changing jobs now, dear.
I like when everything is changing.
That makes it's exciting. That's why I do it.
It's something to be in the storm,
right in the middle of it and seeing everything
new happening and putting it all together.
It's really exciting.
It's almost addictive. I wouldn't want to leave it,
that's for sure.
At times, it's a clear sacrifice
of elements of your personal life.
I have to work very hard but I have
the chance of being rewarded for my efforts.
This disadvantage, my life's moving on.
I don't have any children yet,
you realize there's a certain amount of
my life that I'm sacrificing I'm going to look back
and a portion of this life is gone.
In the U.S., we have at least several million people
directly making a living from software.
And it's the fastest growing group of
people in the economy.
And it's certainly in aggregate,
the highest paying field of its size.
I mean yeah, you've got baseball,
you've got Hollywood.
But you know when you really
think of a group that has millions of people in it,
these are the highest wages anybody
has ever seen in the United States.
The opportunity to win big
for code writers is very real.
In fact, that if you will jackpot
opportunity is reflected here on a
Wall Street trading desk.
And I find that a lot of the engineers
and managers from Silicon Valley
are very attuned to what goes on
on these trading floors daily.
By one account, 64 millionaires are created daily
in Sillicon Valley where any technology worker
can striking rich over night.
You join a company and they give you
some stock options which basically says,
rather than just giving you stock,
they give the right to buy the stock
in the future at the current price.
You might get stock in the order of
maybe a year's salary or
two years salary typically, worth of options.
In some of these real booming companies
out there on the Internet, the potential for
becoming a millionaire or doing very well,
is very, very high.
The people who were very,
very early, they call them "Mozillionaires".
Stock options are a con.
Um, it's a carrot and dangle, it's like,
oh well, you know if you'll give up
your one and only youth,
maybe someday you'll make money, right...
it's um, I've known so many people
who have gambled on start-up lottery
and got nothing.
You know it's just like lottery ticket, it's a stupid tax.
Um, I happened to win that particular lottery.
From the day Microsoft announced
its aggressive commitment to the Internet, however,
Netscape stock has been in steady decline,
and throughout most of 1998 Netscape
options are essentially worthless.
A year and a half ago,
half of our revenue came from browser sales.
Today none of it does, so well,
Any business person out there knows
that that's a huge challenge.
I mean let me take your number one selling product
away from you and you replace that
within period of 12 months or so.
Not many people want to do that.
Even though the company sells other Internet products,
the marketplace views Netscape as a browser company
in a losing battle with Microsoft.
- Greg this is Jim Barksdale with Netscape Communications, how are you ?
It's clear that Netscape doesn't have
enough pieces to threaten Microsoft.
I don't think that Netscape long term
can survive as an independent company.
While Mozilla tries to recapture the early,
glory days of the company,
integrating code from the outside means
more work for everyone on the browser team.
- Apparently I must have done it backwards
from what you told me, or I don't know what
- Ok, this is too fast
- We want to take the old free tree
and use it as subsection,
and we want to build this interesting tree around this.
- No that's not want we want to do
NS Private at the top, right ?
- A project file for this or project file for that,
it can't be a project file for both.
We don't have a plan for doing both.
So right now I have some files that have
to come from here for Java in a single directory,
and some files that have to come from here
in the same directory, the same directory.
Tell me how I do that?
That's the problem.
The browser division which costs the company
almost 30 million dollars a year to operate
and contributes few revenues to the company
is reorganized in the fall for the second time
in less than a year.
Do we have all the answers: No.
We're going to try and learn what we can from
seeing the people who've done this well...
When I joined a start-up, I knew that 19 out of 20 fail.
When an employee comes
to work at Netscape today,
he doesn't have the perception
that there's a 19 out of 20 chance
that this job is not gonna be in place
1 to 5 years from now.
If you live here, it is the ubiquitous conversation
"Do you believe that Microsoft
has used either a) illegal
or just unfair methods
to take market share from Netscape?"