Subject: Help w/ quote source -- 1m free copies of software?
From: <>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 22:38:43 -0800
Thu, 20 Jan 2000 22:38:43 -0800
I am trying to place a quote or citation I think I remember but can't
place the source.

The quote runs along the lines of:

   In order to launch a new software product today it is necessary to
   give away at least one million free copies.

(That is heavily paraphrased and may even be wrong).

The search engines (google, alta vista) aren't helping.  One of the
better fits was an item in the 1995 DoJ Consent Decree:

    22. The principal competitors in the PF/Checkbook Software Market are
    Intuit with Quicken and Microsoft with Money. H&R Block Financial's
    "Managing Your Money" and Computer Associates' "Simply Money" also are
    sold in the market, but have little competitive significance. Managing
    Your Money was a significant participant several years ago, but its
    importance as a competitive influence has declined. The product
    recently has been offered for sale by H&R Block at least partly
    as a result of the announcement of the proposed Intuit acquisition.
    Similarly, Computer Associates, a major supplier of mainframe computer
    software, attempted unsuccessfully to enter and establish a meaningful
    presence in the market by "giving away" more than a million free
    copies of Simply Money for only a shipping and handling charge.
    A low percentage of "free copy" recipients actually use the software
    and Computer Associates has little, if any, competitive influence
    in the market.

I think it might be Varian in Information Rules, and suspect he may
have been citing the above.  Esther Dyson "Release 2.1" is another
possible source.  I can check InfoRules at home, but would appreciate
if anyone else has been tickled by this one.

Um.  Reason is a little paper I'm working on.

Karsten M. Self (
    What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?

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