Would Allaire Have Survived Without Macromedia?
I was in a comment thread with Todd Rafferty today via Facebook. Basically it revolved around performance issues I often see with heavy CFC based apps, particularly those based on frameworks with a CFC based core. Anyway, it got me thinking back to Allaire, Allaire, of course, were the creators of ColdFusion and they also launched Spectra and acquired JRun when they bought Live Software back in 1999. I joined Allaire late in 1999 as a ColdFusion-Spectra consultant, it was a seminal moment for me, a true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, very, very enjoyable. When I joined Allaire they had around 600 employees and were moving to an incredible new facility in Newton MA, in fact they took a whole building with three floors, if I recall. As a CF user, I remember being puzzled by the acquisition of JRun, it seemed to me to be a competitive mechanism to ColdFusion, it was a servlet engine based on Java. Of course Jeremy and JJ Allaire, along with others, had a vision, to launch a Java based version of ColdFusion. I should also mention that Alan Williamson of the Open BlueDragon initiative and of course engineer on BlueDragon actually launched the first Java based CFML engine, I think it was called TagServlet, apologies if I got that wrong. In any case that was before Allaire-Macromedia launched CFMX 6.0, the first Java based version of ColdFusion.
So after that trip down memory lane, here is my main point-thought. In late 2000 the hot winds of the dotcom meltdown were blowing hard and Allaire had grown in size and revenue as a result of the dotcom boom. Also the first version of ColdFusion, MX6.0, was not a good version, not by a long chalk. So I wonder, if Macromedia had not acquired Allaire, would they have survived without large scale cost cutting and would they have been financially capable of carrying out the wholesale re-write of ColdFusion, which version MX6.1 was; almost a complete re-write?