I recently suggested that the English secretly prefer being failures, as we enjoy complaining about our failures and belittling the vulgarities of those who are successful, and that, while this is particularly true in the sporting field, in IT and Web development we find it easier to criticise successful services rather than to exploit their successes.
And on a day in which England have once again failed to build on their previous success, having been beaten by South Africa in the Rugby Union World Cup final, I think it is timely to revisit successful Web services – and to draw some parallels with world champion sporting teams – and one loser.
Apache is an obvious example of a successful Web application. Apache must therefore be the Brazil of Web software: it’s the people’s champion and the favourite of the neutrals.
Microsoft, in contrast, has to be (from an English perspective, at least) Germany: dull, methodical, lacking in flair, but you just know that you mustn’t write them off, as they often do well.
As for Facebook, well this has been a real surprise over the past few years. Nobody expected it to do so well, but, in its own way, it has its admirers. But is its current success likely to be sustainable? Or, just like England‘s rugby union team, will it fade away when we thought success was guaranteed?
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