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Justin Frankel is about to leave Nullsoft/AOL

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 03 Jun 2003 13:38 User comments (3)

The creator of WinAmp, GNUTella and most recently WASTE, has made an announcement that he is about to leave Nullsoft - a company owned by America Online.
For me, coding is a form of self-expression.
It's probably the form I'm most effective at.

Everything I code is arguably owned by the company.

The company controls what I do with my code [in the past, it seemed I had
freedom, but it turns out all of that was not really the case--rather, I
was somehow avoiding the control illicitly (for 4 years)]

The company controls the most effective means of self-expression I have.

This is unacceptable to me as an individual, therefore I must leav.

I don't know when it will be, but I'm not going to last much longer.

I have nothing but respect for the company--I've just come to realize that
it is time to do something different.
Justin made a name for himself by creating the world’s most famous audio player software the WinAmp. He was quickly recognized as an icon of the MP3 revolution and the whole e-boom that has had such an influence in most parts of the world. He even managed to write a book about MP3s few years ago. Justin also was able to significantly benefit financially when his company Nullsoft was aquired by America Online.

But working for a big company hasn’t been smooth sailing for Justin as AOL has had trouble accepting the new software products that he had developed. Some time ago AOL pulled the plug on Justin’s GNUTella P2P software, and recently the same thing happened with WASTE which is a secure instant messaging and file swapping tool.

Justin certainly can afford to leave Nullsoft/AOL and his mailbox will likely be filled with job offers from other companies. It will be interesting to see what will be his next project. forum

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3 user comments

13.6.2003 16:32

Finally! It's hard to believe that it tookn him this long to figure out. Joining with AOL was a bad idea from the start.

23.6.2003 16:40

Although, he made couple of hundred million if I've understood correctly, by selling Nullsoft to AOL and AFAIK, one of the requirements for sale was that he'll stay for certain amount of time with AOL.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

34.6.2003 1:29

Good for him, now hopefully he will stick to his ideals of self-expression and start to produce a stellar product that will push the market to quality instead of certain bland and undesirable products that glut the market and drown choice. Hopefully, he didn't have to sign a contract that keeps him from competing with his former employers for the next couple of years.

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