Announced with great fanfare in 2002 as the "Microsoft Exchange killer", Chandler promised to a "revolutionary" open source personal information manager.
Chandler's brainchild Mitch Kapor provided an initial $5 million. The Mellon Foundation got on the bandwagon by providing $1.6 Million and a consortium of 25 Universities comprising the "Common Solutions Group" threw in another $1.25 Million.
Many moons and millions later we have at best a "pretty buggy and incomplete calendar application that's not very impressive compared to the 58 me-too Web 2.0 calendars that came out last year, each of which was developed by two college kids in their spare time, one of whom really just drew mascots....Chandler doesn't even have a mascot." (Joel Spolsky, Joel on Software).
What went wrong?
Joel Spolsky takes a look at Chandler in his review of Scott Rosenberg's Dreaming in Code. A MUST READ (Spolsky's blog posting and Rosenberg's book) for understanding the pitfalls in software development, project management, and possibly life itself.