Subject: Re: unsubscribe
From: tiemann@CYGNUS.COM
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 93 12:28:30 -0700

This argument is tautological and wrong:

     Free Software Businesses will not work in the long run -
    you can't just give away your software and then hope that people will
    pay for support. It's not a good self-policing system. Anything that
    relies on the good nature of people is hopelessly lost from the start.

Our business relies on employees and managers being truthful with
themselves, communicating as necessary to get their jobs done.  Our
customers tend to be in the same boat.  I don't see how a free
software business differs in any substantial way from that of a tax
lawyer (or law firm).  A tax lawyer must always be on the lookout for
externally imposed changes in the tax space so that companies do not
pay too little tax (and wind up being prosecuted), or too much (and
wind up losing profits).  As long as the use of computers and software
continue to evolve due to changes in technology and changes in the
business climate, there will be a need for changing software and
appropriate support.  A law firm specializing in tax law benefits from
an economy of scale that an individual lawyer cannot achieve.  And
influential tax law firms can sometimes influence politics in
directions that benefit their clients in ways that individual tax
laywers cannot.

Those who run an FSB must learn how to understand how their solution
can deliver a better end product than those who reject the model.  An
FSB which focuses on the "good nature of people" are surely going to
lose, but that's not the only (or even relevant) part of an FS
business plan.

Michael