In March 2000, I launched the website Joel on Software1 by making the very shaky claim that most people are wrong in thinking you need an idea to make a successful software company: The common belief is that when you’re building a software company, the goal is to find a neat idea that solves some problem which hasn’t been solved before, implement it, and make a fortune. We’ll call this the build-a-better-mousetrap belief. But the real goal for software companies should be converting capital into software that works.2
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