Unlike cars or trains, the software industry emerged in a legal environment conducive to monopoly. In the 1980s, the executives ruled, and even though Gates was an engineer, his real job was to be the biggest baddest executive of them all. He did it through mergers, through rebates, and coercive contracts. [… T]his concentration and financialization of the industry created an incentive to push risk onto the public. This happened in other industries too. From the 1980s onward, big banks moved risk onto the public through opaque derivatives, until the great crisis of 2008 revealed the depth of the corrupted business models. In software, it’s happening through these security breaches.
Like most American industries, software today is comprised of large corporations focused on financial engineering, mergers and acquisitions and managed revenue growth. Marketing and “strategy” drive product decisions rather than the reverse. Legal and lobbying machinations take priority over technical innovation. […]
What’s important to understand is that, while there are always going to be some [software] defects, most of these errors and vulnerabilities are not inevitable. They are not a result of technological problems, they are a result of corrupt business models induced by bad public policy around markets.
William Wechtenhiser on.
Tl;dr, software is bad because that’s more profitable than it being good, and because shitty neoliberal government policy refuses to hold the industry accountable under the rationale that “The Market” will do so instead.
(Spoiler alert: “The Market” has, in fact, not done this.)