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The next Fog Creek product

Let's suppose, for the sake of discussion, that Joel is getting bored with the Fog Creek product line and wants to introduce another app. What should the next Fog Creek product be? (and why)

magoo
Thursday, February 26, 2004

Fog Creek Salad Cream

Damian
Thursday, February 26, 2004

What makes you think "Ask Joel" isn't it? 

Oh sure, the first couple of answers are "free", but then they jack up the price!  ;)

GuyIncognito
Friday, February 27, 2004

You joke, but that's exactly what happened with "Experts Exchange".

Following a rebranding (probably because people like me kept calling it 'Expert sexchange') it became subscription only. I think you now have to pay for different subscription levels.

The original premise was a free to post BB where people ask technical questions and others post answers. As you might imagine, after a couple of years or so of this they have a massive technical repository. I will not comment on the quality of a lot of it.

To be honest, I'm only mildly surprised that Joel hasn't capitalised on this. He'd just need a reaonably intelligent elf to aggregate to posts and categorise them.

Justin
Friday, February 27, 2004

Experts-exchange isn't subscription only, though I suppose when subscribers with unlimited points can post maximium amounts for each question....well it means you can no longer ask a question for 50 points and expect an answer.

I liked it alot until they did the website redesign, lucky they have kept the 'oldlook' around for people like me...

Aussie Chick
Friday, February 27, 2004

I spent a couple of months answering questions, but it takes ages to load a page, and they don't render properly on Netscape anyway, so I haven't checked back in nearly a month.

The other thing that irritates me is that it appears that the points you earn for answering questions can't be usd to ask questions. You can be their leading expert and spend three hours a day answering questions for free, but still only get the same number of free questions you get if you subscribe and never touch the site for a couple of years.

Stephen Jones
Friday, February 27, 2004

How about an application builder companion to CityDesk?  Kind of like Access only the forms and reports are web-based.  The key being the build-preview-publish model.  Click publish (or "Deploy" in this case) and everything loads up in the correct place to the app server - probably limited to IIS.

steve
Friday, February 27, 2004

Let's see, the bug tracking system they used in house. A CMS that filled a market niche, and JoS was ported to it. In retrospect a CMS seemed like an obvious choice based on what Joel was talking about a few years ago. So so far tools that are useful to Fog Creek & Joel.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say a CRM system because they may have built one in house already. They seem to be the ultimate victims of the Not Invented Here syndrome.* Or maybe they just use an FTE, FogBugz, their forums, and MS Office.

There's a lot of talk here about project management and project knowledge tools, and Joel's written essays on the subject, though in many respects FogBugz can do this kind of work.

So I think a project management, customer management, and project knowledge suite sold in a package with FogBugz.

Or maybe a plugin for Winamp that makes pretty colors.

* Joel worked at Microsoft, so in a sense MS Office was invented here.

www.MarkTAW.com
Friday, February 27, 2004

I'm surprised we haven't heard more about the ASP -> PHP compiler.  I'd think that would be a popular product.

Kevin
Friday, February 27, 2004

We've heard about it nearly endlessly. Here's the key fact:

It was not designed to be a general ASP to PHP converter, but rather one that was only good enough to port THEIR code, the way they typically write it.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Sunday, February 29, 2004

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