I'm looking for a discussion here. TL;DR is, "Why do we as a tech community think that companies that are successful now are some kind of template for success, rather than considering they may be next year's failure?"
Hear me out: one of the first "unicorns" was Groupon. And there was a now-predictable cycle that it went through:
- being valued at billions of dollars
- receiving acquisition offers but rejecting them and preparing for IPO
- being worshiped and copycatted by the tech community
- having the highest IPO since Google
- descending into oblivion (just look at its stock price now)
"So what?" you're probably thinking. Groupon is for old people who don't know any better.
Maybe. But Groupon's story is being relived over and over again by Snap, Uber, Lyft, and more.
And a lot of "it" companies of the past also failed spectacularly after being huge for awhile. Atari, AOL, Yahoo, Compaq, Nokia, etc.
At the same time, I hear a lot of people talking up how these companies approach product and engineering, as though they're a template worthy to be followed. I'm not saying they aren't, but I do think we need to have some more careful consideration on that. I think it's worth pausing a moment and considering the past before plunging into all the latest software process crazes just because a company that's successful right now uses them.