For some reason I really like reading/watching interviews with tech folks from 10+ years ago. Firstly, because it's fun to be like "oh hey remember those floppy disks?!? HAHA"! Secondly, because it's interesting to observe path dependence in a pseudo first-hand retrospective. Thirdly, because it's funny to see that some things never change.
Q: I once read, in Wired, an article that said you have an incredible headstart on everyone else for making "virtual worlds" on the Internet using your engine from the Quake games. Do you have any intention of doing this?
A: Making Snow Crash into a reality feels like a sort of moral imperative to a lot of programmers, but the efforts that have been made so far leave a lot to be desired.
It is almost painful for me to watch some of the VRML initiatives. It just seems so obviously the wrong way to do something. All of this debating, committee forming, and spec writing, and in the end, there isn't anything to show for it. Make something really cool first, and worry about the spec after you are sure it's worth it!
Funny. Like many other nerd ideas, Virtual Worlds have been tried and re-invented again and again.
And a nice quip about programming in general & what makes a good programmer:
Programming is really just the mundane aspect of expressing a solution to a problem. There are talents that are specifically related to actually coding, but the real issue is being able to grasp problems and devise solutions that are detailed enough to actually be coded.