Subject: Re: FSBs' real competitors are consortiums (was Re: ... mai
From: "Forrest J. Cavalier III" <>
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 01:44:03 -0500 (EST)

Tom Lord <> wrote:

>        That said, there are many FSBs doing many things.  Russ Nelson
>        is happy and successful being the best little FSB he can be.  I
>        don't think he'd ever transition from A to B.
> Russ doesn't make as many press releases as larger companies, so it's
> harder to keep track -- but no, I don't think small specialist
> companies make *quite* the same transition, though they do have a
> potential role to play, as suppliers to business "B" businesses, and
> they do have benefits to gain, as lowering the barrier between public
> projects and commercial distributions gives them more degrees of
> freedom.

Tom, what are the traditional effects of applying any labor saving
technology?  I think you are focusing on how business A internals
change.  You have not described how the whole business
environment (competitors, etc.) changes with that same technology.

If Big Business B isn't doing as much work as it used to, (because
it gets done in the public) then that means that smaller
businesses can go where only big businesses used to go.

It also becomes possible for customers to do for themselves
what it used to need suppliers to do. Communicating software
requirements between organizations is high cost, for example.  With
an in-house staff, priorities are better aligned and change 
synchronously, transaction costs are lower, markup is eliminated, (etc.)
How does Business B sell that they could know and service their
customer better than the customer could itself?  What does Business B
do that the customer could not do?  

The way you have described it, Business B's unique "service" is
tending to the public software garden. What influences a customer
to contract Business B to perform that service?  Couldn't a
customer just spread fertilizer themselves, in exactly the spots
they want?  Why is Business B going to be better at that?

(Just playing devil's advocate.  I still don't think these energy
barriers are going to dissolve sufficiently with better tools.)