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Thomas Hansen
Thomas Hansen

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The Internet is Maintained by 1 Software Developer

Timothy Ivaikin, a Russian friend of mine commented about nGinx on this article, claiming the same was true for nGinx - So I became curious about it and started doing some investigation around it.

According to this article, nGinx is being used to serve 34% of all websites in the world. I checked out who's contributing to nGinx, and just like I thought, the project has 8,208 commits, and 5,366 of those commits was made by 2 software developers; igorsoev and mdounin.

This implies that 2 software developers are indirectly responsible for having created the infrastructure that is serving half the internet (almost)

According to their repository, Igor apparently quit some 12 years ago, so the project is 100% dependent upon mdounin today. If mdounin for some reasons stops working on it, and there's a bug in nGinx, almost half the internet would stop working.

About nGinx

nGinx is professionally maintained by F5. According to their own website, the nGinx "company" was obtained for 670 million dollar. This implies that F5 paid 670 million dollars for a single software developer's ability to create code.

Implying if mdounin for some reasons stops working on the code, F5 looses 670 million dollars over night, in addition to that the internet literally stops working!

About Venture Capitalism

Another obvious chain of thought in regards to my latest articles the last couple of days becomes as follows.

  1. nGinx serves almost half the internet
  2. SupaBase has 4% as many downloads as Magic Cloud
  3. nGinx is worth 0.7 billion dollars
  4. SupaBase is worth 1 billion dollars
  5. WUT ...?

I don't mean to pick on SupaBase specifically, but facts are that one of two is true.

  • Venture Capitalists have absolutely no idea how to evaluate their own investments
  • Venture Capitalism as a whole is a social scam based upon the bigger fool's theory

I suspect the truth is some combination of the above. Facts are, if I studied the portfolio of every single VC fund in existence today, I would find similar "problems" - As in, most of their portfolio's software projects are ipso facto maintained by a single human being.

The world was built by 100 people

In fact, we could bring things further, and claim the world as a whole was in fact built by less than 100 software developers. According to statistics, there are roughly 27 million software developers in the world today. I betcha if you studied who does what, I'm 100% confident in that you'd find that less than 100 of those 27 million devs contributed more than 80% of the code currently in use, if you count market share.

This implies that 100 software developers literally built the world, as in the industry that's responsible for creating value worth 670 billion dollars annually, was literally built by less than 100 people! As in ...

100 people are responsible for 670 billion dollars in revenue, annually!

What would we do if all of these followed me and started protesting?

Within 1 week the following companies would go bankrupt.

  1. Google
  2. Microsoft
  3. Facebook
  4. Twitter
  5. Amazon
  6. Apple

... and the rest of every single Fortune 500 company!

The chain reaction would be "the end of the world as you know it" - Simply because even your local merchant, selling you milk and groceries, is either directly or indirectly dependent upon services or products from some Fortune 500 company. Implying if all Fortune 500 companies goes belly up, the chain reaction would literally result in that within the end of the week, we'd collectively as a specie be back in the stone ages.

Facts are, 100 people built the world, but probably none of these guys are amongst the top 1% richest people in the world. I suggest you schmucks start paying us ... ­čśë

You can start by giving me the following ...

  1. A 2,000 square meter mansion with an infinity pool and a view over the Aegean sea worth roughly 20 million dollars
  2. A BMW 840. I want it in grey
  3. A brand new Mini (my wife luves them)
  4. 20 million dollars in monthly salary

To be honest with you, the above is reasonable considering I'm roughly 3 to 5 times as productive as the second most productive software developer in Cyprus - And you're 100% dependent upon me. And if I stop working together with my 100 best friends, you'd be back in the stone ages before the end of the week ...

Top comments (10)

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programcrafter profile image
ProgramCrafter

Venture Capitalists have absolutely no idea how to evaluate their own investments

I believe that represents lack of tools to evaluate the team behind project: if GitHub shows "500 contributors", people don't look past that, but if there are "5 contributors", they are suspicious. In that regard, adding one community manager may have more effect than one additional developer...

Unfortunately, simpler ways to analyze communities interfere with people' privacy (or require keeping the results to oneself)...

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programcrafter profile image
ProgramCrafter

Though, I don't think that the Internet will necessarily break if nginx is no longer worked upon. For a decade it might work normally, and then new (more thought-through) standards would come, making servers simpler.

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

True, but if there's a severe bug or security flaw in it, the internet would collapse - Which I think I mentioned as a condition.

Regardless, investors will evaluate your company according to how many people work in it, while the truth is that there are no more than 2 guys working on nGinx, and only 1 is actively participating. In theory the dude could start another company, and it would be worth 670 million dollars 3 seconds after he started it ...

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

It's all publicly available actually. Just click "Commits" on the repo ­čśë

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stefanak-michal profile image
Michal ┼átefa┼ł├ík

Image description

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

Hehehe, I luv that image :)

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stefanak-michal profile image
Michal ┼átefa┼ł├ík

yeah me too so I had to adapt it for my case :D

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dyfet profile image
David Sugar

VC funding has become who you know, not what you can do. 100 people VC funded also represents the hundreds of thousands entirely excluded as well as what's being made becoming unmaintainable.

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

So true ...

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jdrsantos profile image
jdrsantos

All this to criticize capitalism?
Ah, btw 34% is not half anything (is a bit more than 1/3, only)
Ah, btw Nginx is open source and have alternatives.

This make me remember the "2000 year bug", more or less ;)