Cooper pointed to a relationship between managers and programmers that affects time estimates. "There's this adversarial relationship, arguing and trying to come to some common ground, and what happens is there's not a lot of truth and honesty in the estimations," said Cooper.
According to Brown, success depends on personnel, tools, and processes. "Being successful is a matter of choosing the right people, but they have to be supported by choosing the right processes and tools," he said. Brown stressed the criticality of software projects. He said that after hearing of the first and second space shuttle disasters, he wondered if software caused the problem. "The cost of software failure is so high these days," he said.
Cooper agued that the best project is not always the one that comes first."Remember that best to market always trumps first to market. Google was released after Alta Vista, Apple was released after DOS," and Safeway.com came after Webvan, said Cooper, reciting a list of other examples as well.
But Brown retorted, "You believe all those were best? It had nothing to do with marketing?"
"I don't think for a minute that shallow marketing success is not a success," Cooper replied. "But my belief is that quality endures."