It's hard for anyone much younger than me to understand the fear Microsoft still inspired in 1995. Imagine a company with several times the power Google has now, but way meaner.
The company felt prematurely old. Most technology companies eventually get taken over by suits and middle managers. At Yahoo it felt as if they'd deliberately accelerated this process. They didn't want to be a bunch of hackers. They wanted to be suits. A media company should be run by suits.
The first time I visited Google, they had about 500 people, the same number Yahoo had when I went to work there. But boy did things seem different... I remember coming away from Google thinking "Wow, it's still a startup."
So which companies need to have a hacker-centric culture? Which companies are "in the software business" in this respect? As Yahoo discovered, the area covered by this rule is bigger than most people realize. The answer is: any company that needs to have good software
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