Ah, ArsDigita. For a while, Phillip Greenspun was an Internet darling. He did some important work on database driven web sites, which wound up turning into a startup called ArsDigita. ArsDigita was very successful for a little while, and then went boom.
Phillip and his former SO Eve Andersson have one perspective. I mention the personal relationship only because it becomes somewhat relevant in the recently posted alternate perspective from Michael Yoon.
Yoon’s piece probably ought to be required reading for, I dunno, lots of people. Or perhaps for nobody, since the horse is now far from the barn and frolicking around in the pasture. Way too late to close the barn door now. But — speaking from a biased, management perspective — these three stories in conjunction demonstrate exactly why management is important.
There were any number of bad professional managers running around during the dot.com boom. This led to the unfortunate assumption that management (and marketing, and sales, and other non-technical fields) were easy. That, in turn, led to smart charismatic people like Phillip assuming that they could do management stuff. And… well, it’s all in the essays linked above.