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To be fair, a lot of the success comes from the size of the audience of him and Joel.

There's no doubt access to a large audience helped get some publicity and users early on. But to be fair, Stack Overflow worked well and was useful on day one. We've seen startups basically fold on the first day when things don't go smoothly. The site crumbles under load. There's no content on a user-generated-content site. Maybe the thing flat out doesn't work as advertised. Some of them eventually overcome these problems only to be ridiculed for it over the next year. The Stack Overflow launch was handled incredibly well. I would attribute their success to much more than the size of their audience.

That's not being fair, that's being contrary. If StackOverflow was a stupid idea or poorly executed, no one would use it. Yes, they announced it from a pretty tall pulpit, but if no one cared what either of them had to say--for or against--no one would care to read their blogs, either.

Sure, it's being fair. Before we go off and pronounce that "Jeff Atwood has proven everyone wrong," let's keep a few things in mind. Also, having a lot of readership does not prove someone is a top shelf programmer.

To be honest, this is not even something that Joel and, perhaps, Jeff haven't said themselves.

I think StackOverflow is sufficient to prove that Jeff isn't a retard or a lousy programmer. That's what it proves, nothing more.

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