Check out the big scandal at Opera, the Icelandic company that makes the Opera browser. In a nutshell: the board decided to get rid of the CEO, Jon S von Tetzchner (above, in Viking helmet, holding list of names of the 20 people who use Opera). So von Tetzchnererer got wind of the coup and fired his board before they could fire him. Who even knew you could do that? Well there’s a move that will encourage shareholders. Very professional. Apparently the shareholders and the board are pissed at von Tezchnerererer for several things, including a) appearing in public in a Viking helmet; b) running stupid ads like this one which depict Opera as the browser for losers with tiny phone-shaped genitals who wear pee-stained tighty-whities and live in their mother’s basements; and c) for having such puny market share and losing so much friggin money.
Herr von Tetzchnererererer, let me give you some advice. When the shareholders tell the board to fire you, and you instead fire the board, that’s probably not a good move. Here’s another sad taste of reality for you. Even if your browser is the best browser in the world, which it isn’t, but even if it were, you couldn’t make it. Not against Microsoft, Mozilla (read: IBM) and Apple. There are already too many of us. Rule of thumb in a commodity market is there’s room for two. Maybe three. But that’s it. You’re chasing crumbs, my Eskimo friend. Not sure how things work up above the Arctic Circle but down here in the Valley the office parks are littered with products like Opera, random little me-too apps and I-think-I-can gizmos that came out of nowhere and offered some interesting features and in some ways maybe were better than their competition but got crushed underfoot and forgotten anyway. We call them “The Little Engines That Couldn’t.”