I'm really glad I'm not the only one who is speaking up when the smell coming from 37 Signals' direction starts to be a bit on the stinky side.
He's actually criticizing their posts on startups (which I usually enjoy, actually) but ends with this criticism:
If you’ve ever used their apps, you know how weak-sauce they are. So weak is their sauce that the first demo of Google App Engine was a quickly-made clone of their Campfire application. 37 Signals whined about and resulted in it being taken down. What a bunch of jokers.
I actually love 37 Signals' "weak-sauce" (translation: simple) apps... :-) I'm a paid user of most (and a lot of my clients pay for Campfire). I do agree though that it's ridiculous to build the absolute simplest apps possible (their claim) and then deny others the right to also build simple solutions that compete with their own.
Image from here:
If HuddleChat was a ripoff of Campfire then Campfire was a rip-off of iChat (or pick a more similar chat program, you have tons to choose from) which was a rip-off of mIRC which was a rip-off of... BBS chat?
Chat programs usually have history that scrolls off the top, include a text entry box, and allow file transfers . This is true of Campfire, HuddleChat, IRC, almost any major chat app I can think of. This is nothing new and 37 Signals doesn't own (or have a copyright for) the "concept" of group chat.
I know HuddleChat is old news, but this is my first opportunity to blog on it. :-)